December 21


Isaiah 7:10 – 15
The Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.
Ask a sign of the Lord, your God.

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who shepherds the people
and sets them free.
God raises from David’s house
a child with power to save. --
--Through the holy prophets
God promised in ages past
to save us from enemy hands,
from the grip of all who hate us.
The Lord favored our ancestors
recalling the sacred covenant,
the pledge to our ancestor Abraham,
to free us from our enemies,
so we might worship without fear
and be holy and just all our days.
And you child, will be called
Prophet of the Most High,
for you will come to prepare
a pathway for the Lord
by teaching the people salvation
through forgiveness of their sin.
Out of God’s deepest mercy
a dawn will come from on high,
light for those shadowed by death,
a guide for our feet on the way to peace.
As morning dawns we draw closer to Christ, our source of light and knowledge.
As people of mercy, we seek compassion and kindness for those with whom we serve:
~ Christ, our Savior, shine upon our minds and hearts that we may see the way to serve you in mercy.
As people of hospitality and welcome, we are touched by the plight of the homeless:
~ Jesus, who made your home with us, help us to provide affordable housing for all.
As educators, we wish to lead others to the truth through our teaching in schools, health care institutions, parishes and social services:
~ Wisdom of the ages, keep us close to you, the fountain of truth.
As seekers of justice, we cry out against the pain and suffering inflicted by the forces of greed and corruption:
~ Jesus, the voice of justice, give us the courage to raise our voices for those who cannot speak.
As dwellers in darkness, we long for your coming:
~ Christ, our light, be with us always.
Loving God, you sent your Son Jesus to earth to fulfill the promise of the scriptures. Be with us this day as we unite ourselves with your waiting people through the ages. May we experience your gracious presence among us, O God, you who never forget those who long for you. Amen.


1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

I acclaim the greatness of the Lord,
I delight in God my savior,
who regarded my humble state.
Truly from this day on all ages
will call me blest.
For God, wonderful in power,
has used that strength for me.
Holy the name of the Lord!
Whose mercy embraces the faithful,
one generation to the next.
The mighty arm of God
scatters the proud in their conceit,
Pulls tyrants from their thrones,
and raises up the humble.
The Lord fills the starving
and lets the rich go hungry.
God rescues lowly Israel,
recalling the promise of mercy,
the promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham’s heirs forever.

Radiant Dawn, you come to help us push back the darkness:
~ Draw us to your light.
We pray for the gift of knowledge that helps to dispel the darkness of unknowing:
We pray for the gift of openness to all the peoples of the earth:
We pray for the gift of awareness of those who are in need:
We pray for the gift of gentleness with those who are vulnerable:
We pray for the gift of peace in our hearts and in our world:
O Radiant Dawn, light the path before us that we may walk in the way of justice and mercy. May each step lead us closer to the realization of your reign, where peace and goodness will be the clear signs of your presence among us. May the warmth of your eternal light shine on those who walk this night in the shadow of
death. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the one who comes. Amen.