Morning Prayer: Sat, 31 Dec – 1 John 2:18-21; Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13; John 1:1-18 ~ Jesus has revealed God to us.

The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

O come, let us adore him!

The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. To those who accepted him he gave power to become the children of God.
__________

Reading: 1 John 2:18-21 (NLT)

Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.

But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth. So I am writing to you not because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies.
__________

Reading: Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13 (NLT)

Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
_____

Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.
__________

Reading: John 1:1-18 (NLT)

a-light-shall-pierce-the-darkness

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
__________

Prayer:

With humble confidence we turn to Christ the Lord, whose grace has been revealed for the salvation of all mankind. Lord, have mercy on us.

+ Christ, radiance of God’s glory, sustaining the universe with your all-powerful word, give us life today through the power of your gospel.

+ Christ, Liberator of the whole human race, give all mankind the freedom needed to do your will.

+ Christ, eternal Son of the Father, yet born for us in the stable at Bethlehem, help your Church to be ever detached from the unnecessary things of this world.

+ Christ, Son of David, fulfillment of the prophecies, may the Jewish people accept you as their awaited Deliverer.

All-powerful, ever-living God, we thank you for the human birth of your Son, which is the source and perfection of our Christian life and worship. Number us among his people, for the salvation of all mankind is found only in him, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
__________

“JESUS LIGHT OF THE WORLD” – Third Day


__________

Blessing

Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Fri, 30 Dec – Colossians 3:12-17; Psalm 128:1-5; Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 ~ clothe yourselves with love

The Holy Family

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

O come, let us adore him!

Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
__________

Reading: Colossians 3:12-17 (NLT)

wear-love

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
__________

Reading: Psalm 128:1-5 (NLT)

How joyful are those who fear the Lord—all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him.

May the Lord continually bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.
__________

Reading: Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23 (NLT)

After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

Rest on the Flight into Egypt Luc Olivier Merson, 1879 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Luc Olivier Merson, 1879
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
_____

When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.”

So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and his mother. But when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herod’s son Archelaus, he was afraid to go there. Then, after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee. So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what the prophets had said: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
__________

Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who became son in a human family: bless our families.

+ Jesus, eternal Word of the Father, you lived under the authority of Mary and Joseph; teach us to walk the path of humility.
+ Mary kept in her heart all that you said and did; teach us the spirit of contemplation.
+ Christ, yours was the strength that shaped the universe, yet you came to learn the tasks of a carpenter; teach us to see our work as a sharing in yours.
+ You advanced in wisdom and in favor with God and men; teach us to live to the full in you and to build up your body in faith and love.

God our Father, in the Holy Family of Nazareth you have given us the true model of a Christian home. Grant that by following Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their love for each other and in the example of their family life, we may come to your home of peace and joy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
__________

“Out of Egypt” – House of Israel


__________

Blessing

You must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience…. Above all, clothe yourselves with love,

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Thu, 29 Dec – 1 John 2:3-11; Psalm 96:1-3, 5-6; Luke 2:22-35 ~ a light to reveal God

The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

O come, let us adore him!

A light of revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel.
__________

Reading: 1 John 2:3-11 (NLT)

And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

The Kranji State Cemetery National Cemetary of Singapore
“For the darkness is disappearing and the true light is already shining”
The Kranji State Cemetery
National Cemetary of Singapore

Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.

If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.
__________

Reading: Psalm 96:1-3, 5-6 (NLT)

Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
_____

The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.
__________

Reading: Luke 2:22-35 (NLT)

Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. The law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord.” So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord—“either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

simeonsmoment

At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
__________

Prayer:

In his loving kindness, God sent us Christ, the Prince of Peace. Let us therefore trustfully declare: Peace to men of good will!

+ Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, accept our praise this Christmastide,  as we celebrate your saving love.
+ You promised a Savior to Abraham and his sons: this Christmas we welcome his coming into our midst.
+ May the Messiah bring salvation to the Jews, who waited for him in faith and in hope.
+ The birth of your Son was proclaimed by angels, preached by apostles, witnessed to by martyrs, celebrated in the Church:  may the message of peace ring out again in our world today.

Father, all-powerful and unseen God, you dispelled the shadows of this world when Christ, the true Light, dawned upon us. Look favorably upon us, Lord, and we will praise and glorify his birth as man. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
__________

“Chanukah, Oh Chanukah” – Theodore Bikel

__________

Blessing

Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Wed, 28 Dec – 1 John 1:5–2:2; Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8; Matthew 2:13-18 ~ Jesus… atones for the sins of all the world

Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

O come, let us adore him!

We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
__________

Reading: 1 John 1:5–2:2 (NLT)

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

226256bf69baaa647fecfd65edfe2adc

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
__________

Reading: Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8 (NLT)

What if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us? They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger. The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us. Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives.
_____

We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free! Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
__________

Reading: Matthew 2:13-18 (NLT)

577xnxgianna-jessen-501-jpg-pagespeed-ic-gpycrdqrzz

After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”

Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:

“A cry was heard in Ramah—weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.”
__________

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, even at your birth, you met with the hatred of men, and children were the first to suffer for your sake. We proclaim that you are at our side: we shall not fear.

+ As you were persecuted, so will be your brothers and sisters; Lord Jesus, we look to you for help.
+ You committed no sin: yet you, like us, were called to suffer. Help us to take up our cross and follow you.
+ The Holy Innocents were your silent witnesses: may we proclaim you to others by word and deed.
+ As a child you were persecuted and driven into exile; save all the children of men, in exile or under persecution.

Lord God, the Holy Innocents bore witness to you not by speaking but by dying. Grant that the faith we proclaim in words may be borne out by deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
__________

“Living In The Light “ – Vineyard UK Worship


__________

Blessing

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!

Morning Prayer: Tue, 27 Dec – 1 John 1:1-4; Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12; John 20:1-8 ~ we saw the Word of life

Feast of Saint John, the Evangelist

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Sentence

O come, let us adore him!

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory,
__________

Reading: 1 John 1:1-4 (NLT)

"Word of Life" (mural) Hesburgh Library University of Notre Dame
“Word of Life” (mural)
(aka “Touchdown Jesus”}
Hesburgh Library
University of Notre Dame

We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.
__________

Reading: Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12 (NLT)

The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice! Let the farthest coastlands be glad. Dark clouds surround him. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
_____

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; every nation sees his glory.
_____

Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right. May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord and praise his holy name!
__________

Reading: John 20:1-8 (NLT)

Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

“The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection” Eugène Burnand, 1898 Musée d’Orsay
“The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection”
Eugène Burnand, 1898
Musée d’Orsay

Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed.
__________

Prayer:

Lord God, remember your church around the world – built on the foundation of the prophets and apostles with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the chief cornerstone. Hear our prayers on behalf of your holy people.

+ That the Resurrection of Christ may be made known, near and far

+ That the Good News of Christ may bring light into the darkness of men’s lives

+ That the Word of Christ may reap an imperishable harvest of joy in men’s hearts

+ That the Cross of Christ may reconcile all men to friendship with you and with one another

Lord God, remember your church around the world. Open to all the treasures of your Word that we may live confidently and joyfully as your children. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
__________

“Ode To Joy – Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” – at Royal Albert Hall, London


__________

Blessing

We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us… and fully share our joy.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!