Watchword for the Nativity – The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.
For he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
1 O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.
2 The Lord has made known his victory;
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.
7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.
8 Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
9 at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.
Invitation to Confession
Loving and gracious God, we know of your love for us because you have given us this most precious gift in your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Knowing that you forgive those who are willing to admit their shortcomings, we now offer to you our confession of sin.
Confession of Sin:
Forgive us Lord for treating your gift of grace as if it were a misunderstood present. Too often we find ourselves thinking of our own needs instead of seeking to serve our neighbor. Sometimes we neglect the feelings of those most close to us. And as we look beyond our loved ones, we ignore the pressing needs of our society by closing our eyes to poverty and pain and walk the other way. Forgive us, and renew us, gracious Savior.
Hear the words of our Lord and Savior, “Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.”
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. AMEN.
Take time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture. Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today. Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world and how the message of Christmas could change the world if we allowed that message to shine through us. When you are ready, continue with the prayer as follows:
With Mary we exalt you, God our Redeemer:
46 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.
God has shown his love for us in that while we were yet sinners he sent us his Son, Jesus Christ, to be the forgiveness of our sins.
We give thanks and praise for this most precious gift.
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.
May our thanks for this most precious gift be shown in the words that we share with those that we find around us this day, and in the conduct of our lives.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.
For he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. Amen.