This Week’s Theme
The Savior Is Born, Christ the Lord
After Joseph and Mary’s journey to the city of David to be registered, the time came for Mary to give birth, and she delivered there her firstborn Son, the baby Jesus. Shepherds were out in the fields, watching over their flocks by night. The Angel of the Lord appeared to them with the glory of the Lord, and they were terrified. “And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2.10-12).
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a multitude of the heavenly host who praised God together, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2.13-14). On hearing the announcement of the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord, the angels went to Bethlehem to see what the Lord had made known to them, and the events testified to by the angel. With haste they went, found Mary and Joseph, and beheld the baby lying in a manger. They made known to others the angel’s saying concerning the child, and Mary treasured these things in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard concerning the child, just as the angel told them.
Good news to the world has come through the witness of the baby born to Mary that night. In Bethlehem that night was born a Savior, Christ the Lord, the redeemer of Israel and the hope of humankind. Welcome him into your hearts and lives, for in him the love of God is displayed to us all.
Preparing Our Hearts
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O Almighty God, Who by the Birth of Thy holy Child Jesus hast given us a great Light to dawn upon our darkness, grant, we pray Thee, that in His light we may see light to the end of our days; and bestow upon us, we beseech Thee, that most excellent Christmas gift of charity to all men, that so, the likeness of Thy Son may be formed in us, and that we may have the ever-brightening hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
~ Professor Knight, Nineteenth Century (Fox, p. 214)
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Praising Our God
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Listening to His Voice
Chronological Reading for the Day
Thursday: Job 26-29
Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 97
OT: Isa. 62.6-12
Gospel: Luke 2.8-20
NT: Titus 3.4-7
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
Responding in Faith
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Departing to Serve
Grant, O merciful God, that He Who was born this day to be the Savior of the world, as He is the Author of our divine birth, so may be Himself the Bestower of our immortality; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
~ Leonine Sacramentary (Bright, p. 22)
Affirmation for the Day
Let us not fear anymore, for the coming of Jesus is the entrance of hope in our lives.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
On this day, let us magnify the name of Jesus, our Savior, the only one who can save us from the tyranny and judgment of our sins.
For Your Weekly Journey
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Savior Is Born, Christ the Lord, Luke 2.8-20
Packer, Knowing God