24 December 2015

Thursday, 24 December 2015
Christmas Eve

Special thanks to Sara Atkinson for leading the opening liturgy and reading part of the scripture.

The Lord be with you…
…and with your spirit
Lift up your hearts…
…We lift them up to the Lord
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
… It is right and just

Luke 2:1-20
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to his own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round-about them. And they were so afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! Behold I bring you tidings of great joy, which will be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

 

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

 

This passage contains one of Lightning’s favorite verses in the entire bible. “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Consider Mary’s response to all this. She is embracing what God is doing around her, and it sends her to contemplation. She doesn’t seem to have a yes/no attitude. She is embracing and wondering.

Our hope is that Linus’s reading of scripture helps you to access a young part of yourself. We hope that through this reading you have been able to tap into the wonder and mystery that is Christmas. We pray that you can hear it fresh, and allow yourself to be a child before God. Jesus always welcomed the children, and our hope on this Christmas eve is that we can all know God as children.

 

 

The Lord be with you…
…and with your spirit
May Almighty God Bless you, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Amen
Go in peace
thanks be to God

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