Christmas is an amazing mystery — God is born in time. The eternal God has taken human flesh, has pitched his tent in the midst of humanity. With joy in our hearts, we contemplate the mystery of the Word made flesh.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We praise you, gracious God, for the glad tidings of peace, the good news of salvation: your Word became flesh, and we have seen his glory.
Let the radiance of that glory enlighten the lives of those who celebrate his birth.
Reveal to all the world the light no darkness can extinguish, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, in the splendour of eternal light, God for ever and ever.
“Joy to the World” – Libera
A Reading from the Old Testament: Isaiah 52:7-10 (NLT)
[Let there be great joy, because we have received Good News: God is consoling his people.]
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the Lord returning to Jerusalem. Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song, for the Lord has comforted his people. He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has demonstrated his holy power before the eyes of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the victory of our God.
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 98:1-6 (NLT)
Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds. His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power! The Lord has announced his victory and has revealed his righteousness to every nation! He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel. The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and melodious song, with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn. Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!
“Hark the Herald Angels Sing “ – flash mob
A Reading from the Letters: Hebrews 1:1-6 (NLT)
[Greater than all the angels is the firstborn Son of God, born in time today.]
Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.
For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus:
“You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.”
God also said,
“I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.”
And when he brought his supreme Son into the world, God said,
“Let all of God’s angels worship him.”
A Reading from the Gospels: John 1:1-18 (NLT)
[In beautiful language, John describes the mystery of God taking on human flesh in Jesus.]
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.
“O Come Let Us Adore Him” – Hillsong
Mighty God: you have shown your salvation to the nations in the birth of Jesus. Hear our prayers on behalf of your people –
+ That those who mark the birth of Christ all over the world today may have new hope…. Lord, hear us.
+ That the people of Syria and Aleppo may have the gift of peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ That refugees of good will may find safe places to live and receive kindness…. Lord, hear us.
+ That hungry and homeless people maybe looked after…. Lord, hear us.
+ That people bereaved in 2016 may be comforted…. Lord, hear us.
+ That those who are lonely may experience friendship and love…. Lord, hear us.
+ That our friends who have fallen asleep in Christ may experience the peace and joy of heaven…. Lord, hear us.
O God, your love for your people is sure: hear our prayers and grant us your grace, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Go Tell It On The Mountain” – Keith & Kristyn Getty
Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! Jesus Christ is born!
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
Categories: Life in Christ