December 22


Isaiah 45:5 – 8
I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things. Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it.
Let the earth open, that salvation may spring up; let righteousness also spring up!
 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.
Coming Savior, our anticipation mounts as the day of your birth draws near. Be with us as we await the fullness of your revelation.
You led shepherds and kings to the stable:
~ Guide us to unity with all creation.
In your birth the divine became human, a virgin bore a son:
~ Make us bold in the knowledge that, for you, all things are possible.
Mary and Joseph were strangers in Bethlehem:
~ May the gift of hospitality flourish among us.
Angels sang out the good news of your birth:
~ May your praise resound through all the earth.
Jesus, coming Savior, as we anticipate the celebration of your birth, remind us that you are already present to us in all the events and relationships that constitute our lives. Give us discerning hearts that we may find you wherever and whenever you come to meet us. We ask this in hope. Amen.


James 5: 7 – 11
Be patient, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
O Ruler of all nations and true desire of every human heart, come and save us whom you have fashioned with your hands!

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.

With all our hearts we desire you, our God, and we pray for the grace to cherish the richness and diversity of your people:
~ Whom you have fashioned with your hands.
We pray for the people of every race and nation: We pray for the children:
We pray for the marginalized and the outcast: We pray for those who suffer from diseases of mind and body:
We pray for the elderly and the vulnerable: We pray for the members of our families and our community:
Your creation, O God, is intricate and diverse, and yet it is one in you. As we experience this unity, may we be moved to break down the barriers which separate and fragment us. As one holy people may we make ready for the coming of your reign, where we will know one another as sister and brother, without class or distinction. We make this Prayer in confidence, for you have promised to hear us. Amen.