Christmas Day Worship 12.25.2020
Today we celebrate the radiance of God’s glory, he who made the world, coming into the world so that all the earth may see the salvation of God. The Son, who upholds all creation through the word of his heavenly power, becomes the Word made flesh, dwelling with us on earth. He is the exact glory of the Father, light shining upon our darkness. He is the “one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made.” Today, he is set upon the holy hill called Zion, where God has come to dwell among us
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, grant that the new birth of your only-begotten Son in the flesh may set free all who are held in servitude under the yoke of sin; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
First Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” The voice of your watchmen — they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the Lord to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people; he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
Why are the nations in an uproar?
Why do the peoples mutter empty threats?
Why do the kings of the earth rise up in revolt, and the princes plot together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed?
“Let us break their yoke,” they say;
“let us cast off their bonds from us.”
He whose throne is in heaven is laughing;
the Lord has them in derision.
Then he speaks to them in his wrath,
and his rage fills | them with terror.
“I myself have set my king
upon my holy hill of Zion.”
Let me announce the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, “You are my Son; this day have I be- | gotten you.
Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
You shall crush them with an iron rod
and shatter them like a piece of pottery.”
And now, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Submit to the Lord with fear,
and with trembling bow before him;
Lest he be angry and you perish;
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Happy are they all
who take refuge in him!
Second Reading: Hebrews 1:1-6 [7-12]
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making 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. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” [Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.” But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”]
Gospel: Luke 2:1-20
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.]
For the Good News
God of glory, just as you sent the prophets of old to share the good news of the coming Messiah, so send us into the world you love with the message of salvation in Christ alone. Bless our endeavors and give us the words we need to share Jesus with all whom we meet. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
For Your Holy Word
In the beginning, Holy One, with just a word you made the heavens and the earth and all that exists. Then at the right time, you sent us the Living Word, your Son, Jesus. We give you thanks for all you have done for us, for the creation, and new life in Christ. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
For the Suffering
Loving Father, we know that you see the plight of all those who are suffering: the poor, the infirm, the doubters, and all who struggle. Grant to each one the gift of your Holy Spirit, that they would trust in your mercy and lovingkindness. (We pray especially for …)
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
For Light in the Midst of Darkness
God of light, even as we’ve passed the shortest day of the year, grant us light in the face of darkness. Give hope to the hopeless and peace to all who live in places where violence is a daily reality. May the light of Christ shine through your people so that all may know the difference between living in the light and living in darkness. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.
Go in peace and joy for Christ's birth. Thanks be to God!