Week 4: Friday, Christmas Day, The Nativity of the Lord

In the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Word who was with God and was God became flesh and dwelt among us. His glory is as of the only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. As we celebrate the Nativity of the Lord, let us affirm the incarnation of God into the earth. The Word which was God and with God, was made flesh and dwelt among humankind. His glory was seen by the apostles, the glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. He alone has made the Father known. In his presence, the Lord now dwells among us.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Almighty God, who yearly makest us glad in bringing to remembrance the birth of thy holy child, Jesus: grant us a thankful spirit to extol the love all loves exceeding; and allow our voices, even ours, to be joined in the song of the heavenly host, praising thee, and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill to men. For thou in very deed hast come to dwell with men on the earth; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, Amen.

~ Gelasian Sacramentary (Ferguson and Wallis, p. 27)

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

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)

Gloria Patri
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.

Chronological Reading for the Day
Friday, Christmas Day: Job 30-31

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 98
OT: Isa. 52.7-10
Gospel: John 1.1-14
NT: Heb. 1.1-12

(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

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.

Benediction 
O Eternal God, Father Almighty, Who, as at this time, didst give Thine only Son to be born of a woman and to be made the Son of man, that we might be made the sons of God, grant to us to be indeed Thy children; and be Thou now and ever our Father, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ Rev. H. Stobart, Nineteenth Century (Fox, p. 213)

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Thank you Father, that the Word became flesh and has dwelt among us, and we know that he has displayed his glory, the very glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
God Is with Us, John 1.1-14

Book Reading
Anderson, The Unfolding Drama of the Bible