Evening Prayer, Christmas Eve, 24 Dec 2020: Isaiah 9:2-7, Psalm 96, Luke 2:1-7 ~ “A Son is born!”


Christmas Eve, 24 Dec 2020

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

Open

God our Creator,
who made this most holy night radiant
with the splendor of the one true light,
grant in your mercy
that, as we celebrate on earth the mystery of that light,
we may also rejoice in its fullness in heaven.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
(Isaiah 9:6)

__________

Once in Royal David’s City – Daniel O’Donnell

__________

A Reading from the Prophets: Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 (ESV)

2 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.

__________

“For unto us a Child is born” from Messiah – Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir

__________

A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 2:1-7 (ESV)

The Birth of Jesus Christ

2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

__________
O Holy Night – Fellowship Creative

__________

Prayer: 

Psalm 96:1-3 – Worship in the Splendor of Holiness

96 Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!

Psalm 96 – Vertical Worship

__________

Closing – Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

__________

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

2nd Day of Christmas: Wed, 26 Dec – Isaiah 9:2-7 ~ For a child is born to us!

2nd Day of Christmas

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

Opening – Isaiah 50:10 (NLT)

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.
__________

Morning Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.

You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
__________

Morning Prayer

Come Lord Jesus: Shine your light in the deep darkness of our world –

+ Break our bondage to sin and death…
+ Lighten the load of the poor and oppressed…
+ Restore the peace and tranquility of the godly…
+ Rule with fairness and justice over our leaders…

Light of the world: Live with us, rule and reign in our hearts, that we might enter into your joy and proclaim the wonders of your love to every tribe and nation, all to the glory of God – Father, Son, and Spirit. Amen.
__________

“Unto Us” – Aaron Shust

__________

Blessing – Titus 2:11-13 (NLT)

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.
__________

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

Christmas Eve: 24 Dec – “For unto us is born a Savior – Christ the Lord!”

Christmas Eve

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

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father: Prepare our hearts to enter into the joy and wonder of Christmas. Shine your Light into our darkness; and remind us of those Christ Jesus came to seek and save – the poor and helpless… the cold and hungry… the sick and those who mourn… the lonely and unloved… the persecuted and oppressed… and all lost souls everywhere. Make us a Light to the nations, that we may bring the Good News of peace and goodwill through Christ Jesus our Lord into every corner of the whole world. All to your honor and glory. Amen.
__________

“Once in Royal David’s City” – King’s College Cambridge 2010


__________

Isaiah 9:2–7 (NLT)

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.

You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!

“O Come O Come Emmanuel” – Enya

Micah 5:2-4 (NLT)

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf. The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies until the woman in labor gives birth. Then at last his fellow countrymen will return from exile to their own land. And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored around the world.

“When Love Came Down to Earth” – Kristyn Getty, Margaret Becker, Joanne Hogg

Matthew 1:18-25 (NLT)

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

“Joseph’s Song” – Gabe Hughes

Luke 2:8–16 (NLT)

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.

“Hark the Herald Angels Sing” – Sissel Kyrkjebø

John 1:1-5, 10-14 (NLT)

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….

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.
__________

“Joy to the World” – Northern Ireland Flashmob


__________

Blessing

Through the incarnation of His Son God has scattered the darkness of the world, and by Christ’s glorious birth, which angels announced to the shepherds, has brightened this most holy night. May the God of infinite goodness banish the darkness of sin from our hearts and make them radiant with the light of His goodness.
__________

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