The Watchword for the Week:
God has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly. Luke 1:52
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world,
but in order that the world might be saved through him.
46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Invitation to Confession
God has done marvelous things for us, but often the conduct of our lives does not reflect the acceptance of those gifts. Let us acknowledge our sin and our need for a Savior.
Confession of Sin:
Saving God, we confess to you our sinfulness. We are consumed with greed and with self, instead of loving you as we ought. Too often we are indifferent to those for whom this season is not a time of joy. You call us to a simple life, but we engage in extravagance, which directs our hearts away from you and from those in need. Forgive us and renew us, gracious Savior.
God has reached into the darkness of our lives to give us hope for living a new life. Accept the gift of God’s grace today and be transformed.
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.
This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage. If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read them now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to. So read slowly and deliberately. Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world. May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, hear us.
Holy Child of Mary, Savior of the World,
reveal yourself to us.
Help us and save us through the totality of your life:
By your holy incarnation,
By your human birth,
By your pure and blameless childhood,
By your obedience and diligence,
By your humility, meekness, and patience,
By your extreme poverty,
By your grief and sorrows,
By your prayers and tears,
By your having been despised and rejected,
By your cross and suffering,
By your death and burial,
By your triumphant resurrection and ascension.
God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly.
We marvel, Gracious God, at the mystery of your incarnation.
Why would you choose to be born into poverty, with a family far from home, and seemingly ill prepared for your arrival?
Why would you choose a forgotten village in a forgotten corner of the world?
Why would you choose to be born in a cave full of cattle, and take a manger for your crib?
Could it be that through this unlikely birth you would reach out and choose even us to be your children?
Could it be that you would reach out and choose even me?
The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name. Thanks be to God! Amen.