Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He lived as one of us yet without sin. He took on our humanity without relinquishing his divinity. He was truly human, like us in every respect, yet he was also truly God. He is the only mediator between God and humankind, perfectly representing us before the Father, and perfectly representing God to us. In him, God became human to reconcile humanity to God. He took on our frail nature and so became our redeemer.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Thank you, heavenly Father, for the incarnation of Jesus Christ. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary. You sent Jesus to redeem us from sin, allowing your own Son to come into the world and represent you to us, and through him, to be saved through faith in him. He is our Lord, and our life. Glory to you, in Jesus’s name, amen.
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)
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.
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.
Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, you were truly human, made to be like us in every way, yet, you did not sin. You, too, were also truly God, serving as the only mediator between you and all of Adam’s race. He is our Head, the one who represents us before you, and you to us. Thank you for coming into the world for us! In your holy name we pray, amen.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Jesus, you are truly God and truly man, the mediator between us and your Father and God.
Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
Thus there was born true God in the entire and perfect nature of true man, complete in his own properties, complete in ours. . . . He assumed the form of a servant without the stain of sin, making the human properties greater, but not detracting from the divine. For that “emptying of himself,” whereby . . . the Creator and Lord of all willed to be a mortal, was a condescension of compassion, not a failure of power. Accordingly, he who made man, while he remained in the form of God, was himself made man in the form of a servant. Each nature preserves its own characteristics without diminution, so that the form of a servant does not detract from the form of God.
~ Leo the Great, Letter 28.3
in The Later Christian Fathers, ed. and trans. H. Bettenson.
London: Oxford University Press, 1970. pp. 278–79 (translation modified).
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Christus Victor: Recapitulation: Christ in the OT, John 5.39
Heine, Classical Christian Doctrine