Invitation — Psalm 80:3
"Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved."
Bible Song — Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples...
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
Bible Reading — Matthew 1:18-25
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us").
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Read again slowly ... find a word or phrase that catches your eye or moves your heart ... slowly repeat it ... pray your thoughts, desires, needs, and feelings from your meditation ... enjoy the presence of your Lord and Savior.
- for the flourishing of Christ's church everywhere
- for worship that glorifies God and gathers, unites, and blesses his people
- for missionaries of the gospel
- for those who travel
Prayer — HC 35
God with us, quiet me before the Christ-child, filled with wonder that in this tiny child, you have come near. Amen.
Blessing — see Luke 1:78-79
May the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven, shine on those living in darkness and guide our feet into the path of peace.