╬ Glory in Humility!
The prophet proclaims that the Lord dwells not in rich palaces or elaborate temples, but in a tabernacle, a tent among a people wandering in the wilderness. The angel of God announces that the messiah – the anointed deliverer – is born not in royalty and dynasties of power, but to a lowly, unwed provincial peasant girl. The One God sends comes not to the halls of the high-born, but humbly … born in a stable, laid in a manger, because there was no room for him in places of wealth, privilege and security. Forever after, the ongoing story of the Incarnation is one of glory shining forth in the humblest of circumstances.
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Nativity of our Lord 8 PM
Posted by Abiding Love Lutheran Church ELCA on Sunday, December 24, 2017
Readings and the Prayer of the Day are below. PLEASE NOTE: I have shortened the First Reading considerably.
The time of waiting will soon be over. The gift of Christmas is at hand!
Blessings to all,
- Pr. Brad Highum
PRAYER OF THE DAY -------------------
Gracious God, shape our hearts as the humble places wherein the glory of your Christ may be born. With gladness and thanksgiving we prepare a place for him in the midst of life, in the midst of the world, at the center of ourselves. Amen.
First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-17
7 Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 the king said to the prophet Nathan, "See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent." 3 Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you." 4 But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: 5 Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle.
1 I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
2 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
3 You said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to my servant David:
4 'I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all generations.'"
19 Then you spoke in a vision to your faithful one, and said: "I have set the crown on one who is mighty, I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20 I have found my servant David; with my holy oil I have anointed him;
21 my hand shall always remain with him; my arm also shall strengthen him.
22 The enemy shall not outwit him, the wicked shall not humble him.
23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and steadfast love shall be with him; and in my name his horn shall be exalted.
25 I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers.
26 He shall cry to me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation!'
Second Reading: Philippians 2:1-8
2 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross.
Gospel: Luke 1:26-39
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." 34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be
impossible with God." 38 Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.