Advent Wreath Meditations - 2013 (Garland): Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve: December 24, 2013
Titus 2:11-14, Psalm 96:1-4, Luke 2:10-11 (NRSV)
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly,
"while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
"He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
"O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
"Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods."
"The angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.'"
On this night of nights Immanuel is born, full of grace and truth. In the company of a heavenly host, we are offered an opportunity to join the celebration. We are invited
. . . to accompany the shepherds to see the holy child.
. . . to join the Angels in a song of praise.
. . . to treasure with Mary the Word made flesh.
. . . to respond with lives that are just, kind and faithful.
On Christmas Eve we are offered the gift of salvation.
. . . Let us come to the Light of Christ
. . . Let us sing a new song, bless his name, and tell of his salvation from day to day.
. . . Let us offer our reverence to Immanuel.
. . . Let us be moved to live lives that are faithful and righteous.
May Christ be born in us this night, and forevermore.
Candle Lighting Liturgy
We have waited in the light of hope for the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
(Here relight the four Advent candles.)
The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all!
Let us sing to the Lord a new song, and tell of his salvation from day to day.
We will declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.
The good news of great joy is now fulfilled!
For unto us is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
We light the Candle of Christ - the Light of the World.
(Here light The Christ Candle.)
Glory to God in the highest Heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.
"It Came upon the Midnight Clear," The United Methodist Hymnal, 218
"Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne," stanzas 1-2, The Faith We Sing, 2100
"A Star Shone Bright" (Worship & Song, 3051) by F. Richard Garland