Word of the week – Christmas
December 24, 2017 Nativity of Our Lord I: Christmas Eve Introduction
On a long winter evening we gather to proclaim the coming of the light. Isaiah announces that the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Paul reminds us that the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all. In the familiar account of Christ’s birth, the evening sky is bright with the heavenly host singing, “Glory to God in the highest.” Amid our broken world we proclaim that the prince of peace is born among us. God comes to us in human flesh—in Christ’s body and blood—so that we may be bearers of divine light to all the world.
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 brightness 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: Isaiah 9:2-7
This poem promises deliverance from Assyrian oppression, a hope based on the birth of a royal child with a name full of promise. While Judah’s king will practice justice and righteousness, the real basis for faith lies in God’s passion for the people: The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this!
Psalm: Psalm 96
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad. (Ps. 96:11)
Second Reading: Titus 2:11-14
The appearance of God’s grace in Jesus Christ brings salvation for all humanity. Consequently, in the present we live wisely and justly while also anticipating the hope of our Savior’s final appearance.
Gospel: Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]
God’s greatest gift comes as a baby in a manger. Angels announce the “good news of great joy” and proclaim God’s blessing of peace.
Theme for the Christmas season
The way is prepared! The Lord has come!
On a holy night in a humble stall, we receive the gift of Jesus.
The gift of Light and Life.
The gift of Salvation and Peace.
The gift of Hope and Love.
The birth of this tiny baby brings God to us – His Word now made flesh and dwelling among us – meeting us where we are.
As we celebrate God’s promise fulfilled, let us add our voices to the multitude of angels:
Joy to the world! The Lord has come! Come, let us adore him!