Invitation — Psalm 80:3
"Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved."
Bible Song — Psalm 72:1-7
Endow the king with your justice, O God,
the royal son with your righteousness.
May he judge your people in righteousness,
your afflicted ones with justice.
May the mountains bring prosperity to the people,
the hills the fruit of righteousness.
May he defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy;
may he crush the oppressor.
May he endure as long as the sun,
as long as the moon, through all generations.
May he be like rain falling on a mown field,
like showers watering the earth.
In his days may the righteous flourish
and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.
Bible Reading — Luke 1:39-45
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!"
Read again, perhaps out loud ... how has God's Word moved you? Ponder and meditate what has connected with your heart or mind ... pray to God what it is that has moved you today ... turn your thoughts to God and quietly enjoy being with him.
- for our role as caretakers of creation
- for the ears to hear God in creation
- for God's care and comfort in natural disasters and a creation that groans
Prayer — WC 8.2
Son of Man and Son of God, in real time, you were conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. Deity and humanity were inseparably joined together in you. Thank you for the way Christmas reminds me that faith is both material and mystical. No confusion, but lots of wonder. 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.