December 29


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Hebrews 1:1 – 4
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, Christ sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of 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 breaks we turn to you, Eternal Word, Incarnate One:
~ Listen to our Prayer.
There was no place for them in the inn. For those working in the ministry of hospitality and of housing and for those who welcome the home- less, we pray:
Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. For educators, for preachers of the word, for all who bring tidings of great joy, we pray: But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.” For those who suffer from anxiety and depression, we pray:
But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. For our sisters in the ministry of prayer and patient suffering, we pray:
O God, you who came to earth as an infant, touch our hearts once more as we consider the Christmas story. May this gospel be ever old, ever new within us. Grant us childlike faith and the spirit of wonder. We ask this in the name of Jesus our Savior. Amen.


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
1 John 1:1 – 3a
We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that what was with God and was revealed to us — we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may be in company with us.
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of 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.

We know you in many ways, our God:
~ Come to us today in gifts that dispel our pain.
We name you light:
~ Dispel the darkness that disrupts the unity of your church.
We name you peace:
~ Dispel the pain of war among the nations of the earth.
We name you hope:
~ Dispel the despair of earth’s people who are oppressed by injustice, poverty, and ignorance.
We name you compassion:
~ Dispel the burdens we carry.
We name you joy:
~ Dispel the sadness of our hearts.
Jesus, you come to us in various guises: joy, compassion, hope, peace, light. May we, by our imitation of your life, bring these same gifts into our world today. Through our words and actions, may your presence be known among your people. Because you chose to be one with us, we know that you will hear and answer this Prayer. Amen.