Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Daily Lectionary Readings for WEDNESDAY, December 25, 2019 — Christmas Day — Nativity of Our Lord

The Daily Lectionary Readings
December 25, 2019 — Christmas Day — Nativity of Our Lord
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]

Opening Statement
The message of God’s incarnate love is so powerful in the familiar Luke story that even the once-a-year church folks get it time and time again. We are called to make sure that visitors and regulars alike hear the compelling invitation to live in the light that God has shined into the darkness. This means not just hearing the Christmas story, but telling its good news to others until we ourselves become reflections of Christ’s light throughout the year.

Opening Prayer (Isaiah 9)
God of light and love, shine upon us this Christmas Day and in the year ahead. Guide us out of darkness and into your joyous light. May our lives reflect your glorious love,
that others may see your Christmas Spirit in us, each and every day of our lives. Amen.

The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer of Confession (Isaiah 9, Psalm 96, Titus 2, Luke 2)
God of Joy, we come to celebrate again the arrival of Love Incarnate here in our very midst. Your glorious arrival is enough to cause the forests to sing for joy, yet we still find reasons to complain and sigh. Your light of salvation is bright enough to illuminate every corner of our lives, yet we still find ourselves shrouded in worry and doubt. Your gift of Love is big enough for the whole world, yet we still find ourselves resentful that your love extends to those whom we deem to be unworthy. God, you invite us into the light of the stable where the overlooked and forgotten have gathered to celebrate the miracle of your love. Give us the strength and courage to join you at the manger. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Luke 2)
Do not be afraid! Hear the good news of great joy for all people: a savior has been born this night for you!

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, you made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that here on earth we may walk in the light of Jesus' presence and in the last day wake to the rightness of his glory; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

First Reading
2  The people who walked in darkness
     have seen a great light;
   those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
     on them light has shined.
3  You have multiplied the nation,
     you have increased its joy;
   they rejoice before you
     as with joy at the harvest,
     as people exult when dividing plunder.
4  For the yoke of their burden,
     and the bar across their shoulders,
     the rod of their oppressor,
     you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5  For all the boots of the tramping warriors
     and all the garments rolled in blood
     shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
6  For a child has been born for us,
     a son given to us;
   authority rests upon his shoulders;
     and he is named
   Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
     Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7  His authority shall grow continually,
     and there shall be endless peace
   for the throne of David and his kingdom.
     He will establish and uphold it
   with justice and with righteousness
     from this time onward and forevermore.
   The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Praise to God Who Comes in Judgment
1  O sing to the Lord a new song;
     sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2  Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
     tell of his salvation from day to day.
3  Declare his glory among the nations,
     his marvelous works among all the peoples.
4  For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
     he is to be revered above all gods.
5  For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
     but the Lord made the heavens.
6  Honor and majesty are before him;
     strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7  Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
     ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
     bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9  Worship the Lord in holy splendor;
     tremble before him, all the earth.

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord is king!
     The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
     He will judge the peoples with equity.”
11  Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
     let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12   let the field exult, and everything in it.
   Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13   before the Lord; for he is coming,
     for he is coming to judge the earth.
   He will judge the world with righteousness,
     and the peoples with his truth.

Second Reading
2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12 training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. Alleluia. (Luke 2:10-11)

The Gospel
The Birth of Jesus
2:1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
     and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

[15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.]

Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today’s Christmas message

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Closing Prayer

Dear Lord, don't let us miss You this Christmas season.
Help us to simplify our activities and traditions so we can focus our celebration on Your birth.
You have come to us as a small child, but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal love.
As we celebrate your birth, may we begin to see the world in the light of understanding you give us.
As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship you in meekness of heart.
May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving.
Thank You for being the Prince of Peace, and I ask You for that supernatural peace to reign in our hearts.
Thank You for the simple but life-changing message of Your love for us.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
The Daily Lectionary for December 24, 2019 — Christmas Eve — Nativity of Our Lord
Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]

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