Christmas

Christmas Eve

Hebrew Scripture Lesson from the Latter Prophets: Isaiah 9:2-7

The people who walked in darkness
 have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
 on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation,
 you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
 as with joy at the harvest,
 as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden,
 and the bar across their shoulders,
 the rod of their oppressor,
 you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For all the boots of the tramping warriors
 and all the garments rolled in blood
 shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child has been born for us,
 a son given to us;
 authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
 Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
 and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
 He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
 from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Psalm 96

O sing to the Lord a new song;
 sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
 tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
 his marvelous works among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
 he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
 but the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before him;
 strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
 bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in holy splendor;
 tremble before him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The Lord is king!
 The world is firmly established;
it shall never be moved.
 He will judge the peoples with equity.”
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
 let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it.
 Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord;
for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
 and the peoples with his truth.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Titus 2:11-14

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

New Testament Gospel Lesson: Luke 2:1-20

Nativity-1.jpg

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
 and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Years ABC Christmas Eve

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Note: The links in the titles above take you to Amazon, where you can purchase them and benefit The Lectionary Company.

Image Credit: The Nativity with the Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel by Duccio di Buoninsegna. (Only the center of this tryptic appears.) This public domain image was downloaded from National Gallery of Art

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Christmas Night

Isaiah 52:7-10 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

Psalm 98 O sing to the Lord a new song. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

Hebrews 1:1-12 Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

John 1:1-14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

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Christmas Morning

Isaiah 62:6-12 Go through the gates, prepare the way for the people; build up the highway, clear it of stones, lift up an ensign over the peoples.

Psalm 97 The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice. Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Titus 3:4-7 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy.

Luke 2:1-20 Mary and Joseph went from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be registered. While they were there, Mary gave birth to her first-born son, wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. An angle of the Lord appeared to shepherds saying, “I bring you good news of great joy to all the people: to you is born this day the Messiah, the Lord.”

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Readings for Christmas Eve

Isaiah 9:2-7 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Psalm 96 Sing to the Lord a new song, all the earth. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice.

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all.

Luke 2:1-20 Mary and Joseph went from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be registered. While they were there, Mary gave birth to her first-born son, wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. An angle of the Lord appeared to shepherds saying, “I bring you good news of great joy to all the people: to you is born this day the Messiah, the Lord.”

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Readings for the Nativity of the Lord III (Years ABC : Nativity of the Lord III)

Isaiah 52:7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet
of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation, who says to Zion,
“Your God reigns.”

Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion.

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Readings for the Nativity of the Lord II (Years ABC : Nativity of the Lord II)

Isaiah 62:6-12

Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels;
all day and all night they shall never be silent.

You who remind the Lord, take no rest, and give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it renowned throughout the earth.

The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm:
I will not again give your grain to be food for your enemies,
and foreigners shall not drink the wine for which you have labored;
but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the Lord,
and those who gather it shall drink it in my holy courts.

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Readings for Christmas Eve (Years ABC : Nativity I)

Isaiah 9:2-7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
on them light has shined.

You have multiplied the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest,
as people exult when dividing plunder.

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Readings for the Second Sunday After Christmas (Years ABC : Christmas 2)

Hebrew Scripture: Jeremiah 31:7-14

For thus says the Lord: Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, “Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel.” See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here. With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

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