GOD WITH US

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PRAYING THE WORD ON CHRISTMAS DAY

Christmas prayer:   Isa. 9:2-7; Ps.96; Titus 2:11-14; Lk 2:1-14

LEADER: Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. (Ps. 96:1)

PEOPLE:  CHRIST IS BORN TODAY

LEADER:  The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. (Isa. 9:2)

PEOPLE: CHRIST IS BORN TODAY

LEADER: On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. (vs. 2)

PEOPLE: CHRIST IS BORN TODAY

LEADER: For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens  them. (vs.4)

PEOPLE: CHRIST IS BORN TODAY

LEADER: Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. (vs. 5)

PEOPLE: CHRIST  IS BORN  TODAY

LEADER: The government will be on his shoulders. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end (vss. 6b and 7a)

PEOPLE: CHRIST IS BORN TODAY

LEADER: He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness, fom this time on and forever (vs. 7b)

PEOPLE: CHRIST IS BORN TODAY…..

LEADER: O LORD, CHRIST, Your presence fills our hearts  and our worship today. Splendor and majesty, strength and glory belong to you. We ascribe to you the glory due your name (Ps. 96:8) Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting  Father, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6)

 

Christ whose glory fills the skies
Sun of Righteousness arise
Dayspring from on high be near
Daystar in my heart appear.

We live with your Word, today… the  story that began not in a stable in Bethlehem but in the garden of creation; the  story of your glory bestowed upon us, made in  your image; the story of our fall,  our grasping at control and power, wanting to be you (god) not like you; the story of patriarchs, priests and prophets, of exile and exodus; the story of deliverance and new creation. We live with  your  word,  your story, and celebrate THE  WORD, the word become flesh to dwell among us.

We think not only of Bethlehem, shepherds watching there, a frightened homeless woman having a baby, we think of Nazareth, the boy Jesus apprenticed to his carpenter father, of Galilee, a wandering  prophet, teaching  and preaching the eternal word that sounded strange even to those steeped in Scriptures. How dumb our ears can be, how selective our hearing. We think of Calvary, its glory and dismay, especially of the now announced Messiah, the Lamb of God, hanging on a tree.

We live with your word today. We realize that the word of anybody is the  attempt of a living being to communicate something. You are alive, O God, and your word is not merely some expression of  history, or a repository of fact and truth, or a collection to be handled gingerly, but something that is alive; even as sharp as a two-edged sword. We don’t approach it abstractly, but as emotionally involved as Mary and Joseph handling that new baby; as mystified and challenged by it as they were as they sought to comprehend the meaning of shepherds and stars and wise men and angels.

We live with your word and it comes to focus in a special way today: God becomes incarnate, physical, in the world. God is made truly human in the womb of Mary and is born into the world just like us. Jesus Christ walks around, talks and eats with sinners, and doesn’t always wash his hands. God reveals himself in human flesh… skin and teeth, and  tongue. He lives, he suffers, he dies. And he  rose, Christ our Lord, announced and adored by sheep, shepherds, wise men and angels, raised to glory  the of the Father, mighty to save, “for the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all. (Titus 2:11)

And so to you, O God, who sits upon the throne, and to Christ the Lamb be worship and praise, dominion and splendor for ever and  ever. Amen.

Prayer taken from Praying the Story, (Dunnam & Walt)

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