Invitation — Psalm 100:1-2
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs."
Bible Song — Psalm 148:1-4, 13-14
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies...
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
And he has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his faithful servants,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.
Bible Reading — Luke 2:36-40
There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.
Leisurely read again ... is there a word or idea that stirred within you? Linger over it and give it your attention ... is there something about the reading you'd like to ask God about? Pray your life to God ... take a moment to rest in God's presence.
- for the commitment to do justice and show mercy
- for the rights of children
- for those who are lonely, and those who support them
Prayer — BC 19
Jesus, Son of Man, as a floating fetus and suckling infant, teetering toddler and scabby-kneed boy, hormonal teen and maturing adult — even as a corpse in the grave — your incarnation is a long and loving identification with our humanity. Thank you for honoring human life from beginning of days to end of life. Amen.
Blessing — Luke 1:68
"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them."