Invitation — Isaiah 52:7
"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'"
Bible Song — Psalm 126
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The Lord has done great things for them."
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
Bible Reading — 1 Timothy 2:1-6
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.
Remind yourself you are in God's presence and read again ... notice how God might be speaking to you through his Word — dwell on a word or phrase that jumps out at you ... let your heart respond to God in prayer ... take refreshment in God's presence.
- for those living in poverty and suffering injustice
- for our capacity to suffer with others
- for those persecuted for their faith
Prayer — BC 19
Lord God, you defy all my tidy categories for understanding you, especially at Christmas. What a paradox the incarnation is — true God and authentic humanity knit into one person, your Son, Jesus Christ. I worship you for this marvelous mystery — as true God you conquered death by your power, and as a real human you died for me in the weakness of your flesh. Amen.
Blessing — Luke 1:68
"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them."