Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
First Sunday after Christmas Day (December 27, 2015)
- First reading
- 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
- Psalm 148
- Second reading
- Colossians 3:12-17
- Luke 2:41-52
Colossians 3:12-17 New Living Translation
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Luke 2:9-20 New Living Translation
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours! Our prayer is that you have a great time as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the World.
O Savior of our fallen race, O brightness of the Father’s face
O Son who shared the Father’s might, before the world knew day or night
O Jesus very Light of light, our constant star in sin’s deep night
Now hear the prayers Your people pray, throughout the world this holy day
Remind us Lord of life and grace, how once to save our fallen race
You put our human vesture on and came to us as Mary’s son
Today as year by year its light, bring to our world a promise bright
One precious truth outshines the sun, salvation comes from You alone
For from the Father’s throne You came, His banished children to reclaim
And earth and sea and sky revere, the love of Him who sent You here
And we are jubilant today, for You have washed our guilt away
O hear the glad new song we sing, on this the birth of Christ our King
O Savior of our fallen race, the world will see Your radiant face
For You who came to us before will come again and all restore
Let songs of praise Your name adorn, O Christ Redeemer virgin born
Whom with the Father we adore and Holy Spirit evermore
The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day December 25
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.
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Nativity of the Lord – Proper III (December 24, 2015)
Hebrews 1:1-4 New Living Translation
Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.
For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus:
“You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father.”
God also said,
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son.”
And when he brought his supreme Son into the world, God said,
“Let all of God’s angels worship him.”
Regarding the angels, he says,
“He sends his angels like the winds,
his servants like flames of fire.”
But to the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
You rule with a scepter of justice.
You love justice and hate evil.
Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you,
pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”
He also says to the Son,
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth
and made the heavens with your hands.
They will perish, but you remain forever.
They will wear out like old clothing.
You will fold them up like a cloak
and discard them like old clothing.
But you are always the same;
you will live forever.”
Nativity of the Lord – Proper II (December 24, 2015)
Titus 3:4-7 New Living Translation
When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.
Luke 2:1-8 New Living Translation
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.
Nativity of the Lord – Proper I (December 24, 2015)
Today is Christmas Eve 2015, as we look back at this year with so much evil that has taken place and is still running wild in our world, we may look at our world like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow did when he wrote the poem “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” How are Christians to live in an evil world like ours? First of we have the gift of grace God has revealed to us that brought salvation to all people.
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. Titus 2:11-14
The Christmas story can be sum up in one verse in the Bible John 3:16
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
On this Christmas Eve we need show others that salvation is a gift from God. This day we are get ready to celebrate the birth of the child whose blood will be poured out so we can receive this gift. When we accept the gift of salvation, God is expecting us to turn away from our evil and sinful ways. We still will live in this evil world until the day that Jesus will return to earth to gather his adopted brothers and sisters. While we still have to live our world, God commands us to live with wisdom, righteousness and devotion to him. It is hard some days to do that, when we see the news. Sometimes our human side gets the best of us and we say or act in a way that is truly not God like. Honestly I have seen some Christians on Facebook and other places not acting or speaking with the wisdom and righteousness of God. What this world really need on this Christmas Eve 2015 is Christians who live and speak with wisdom and righteousness. The world needs — Christians that live like they have hope in Christ, that one day all this evil with be gone forever. I know it is easier said than done. Some days I even fail not living with hope. As we live with the hope that God will win in the end and live and speak in the wisdom of God, the people around us will see this gift of salvation we have. They might want the gift of salvation. Through our witness we might not get rid of all the evil in the world but we can change the world around us.
In the days leading up to Christmas, I am posting the the “Christmas Story” from Luke and Matthew. In case you have missed it here are the previous parts:
Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy:
“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has visited and redeemed his people.
He has sent us a mighty Savior
from the royal line of his servant David,
just as he promised
through his holy prophets long ago.
Now we will be saved from our enemies
and from all who hate us.
He has been merciful to our ancestors
by remembering his sacred covenant—
the covenant he swore with an oath
to our ancestor Abraham.
We have been rescued from our enemies
so we can serve God without fear,
in holiness and righteousness
for as long as we live.
“And you, my little son,
will be called the prophet of the Most High,
because you will prepare the way for the Lord.
You will tell his people how to find salvation
through forgiveness of their sins.
Because of God’s tender mercy,
the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
and to guide us to the path of peace.”
John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.