December 23


Jeremiah 30:21 – 22
Their prince shall be one of their own, their ruler shall come from their midst;
I will bring him near, and he shall approach me, for who would otherwise dare to approach me? says the Lord. And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
You shall be my people, and I will be 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.
You have called us, God, to be your people. We rejoice in this holy summons, as we pray:
~ Come and be our God.
To expectant parents, the dying, the imprisoned, and to all who wait:
To those who devote their lives to works of mercy and justice:
To those who struggle to believe:
To those separated from loved ones:
To all who look forward to your coming in glory:
You sent Jesus to be one of us, O God, so that we could take the risk of approaching you. We praise you for his presence, a tangible sign of your love for us. May our preparation for the celebration of his birth encourage us to a more faithful imitation of his life. We ask this in confident hope. Amen.
2 Peter 3:8b – 10
With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. God is not slow about promises made, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
O Emmanuel, desire of the nations and Savior of all peoples, come and set us free, for you are our God.

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.

God with us, in your coming we are redeemed. We await your birth and we cry out:
~ Come and set us free!
In every generation we long for you anew: When we doubt ourselves and your love for us: When our efforts toward justice are thwarted by our fears:
When the lure of consumerism masks the meaning of this season:
When we are able to endure our waiting for you no longer:
From the day of our birth, O God, you are with us, surrounding us with your love, drawing us forward into your reign. Let your presence sing out from all creation so that every event, every encounter, reminds us that you are here. Conscious of your abiding love, may we live in union and charity, as we have been called to do. We ask this in the name of Jesus, living sign of your love. Amen.