Invitation — Psalm 80:3
"Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved."
Bible Song — Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
You, Lord, showed favor to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins...
I will listen to what God the Lord says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants —
but let them not turn to folly.
Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.
Bible Reading — Micah 5:2-4
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.
He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.
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 governments, leaders, and the needs of our world
- for the continent of South America
- for international relief agencies
Prayer — HC 19
God of place and time, you chose the little town of Bethlehem to be the birthplace of David and of David's greater Son. Make us aware of your active purpose in our towns and neighborhoods, so that we see them as places of promise in our time. 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.