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Dec 24 Nativity of the Lord I
The People Who Walked In Darkness Have Seen A Great Light 122411
2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.
This is first verse of Isaiah 9, our first reading for today. The sharp change in us when we moved from darkness into the great light of Jesus Christ know what thissimple sentence really says. For me, it recalls when I lived in darkness, then came to know Jesus Christ. An unspeakable and great joy began to glow and burst forward in me….it continues to grow, to fill me with joy, and to be really unspeakable. But I suspect that all Christians know and feel this same joy, or something like it…..and our joy is too great to speak of it.
This Christmas Eve, we expect Jesus to be born once more. Once more you and I are to be reborn in Jesus Christ in the morning, and the light will begin to return.
Pray for peace
2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. 3You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. 4For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 6For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
1O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
3Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.
4For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.
5For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
6Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
7Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.
10Say among the nations, “The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.”
11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.
11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
2In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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