Prepare the Way Worship Series: ARRIVE
December 24, 2018
Resources for Family Devotions or Midweek Ministries
(Preparation: Make or purchase an Advent wreath. An Advent wreath contains four—usually purple—candles representing the four Sundays leading to Christmas. Many people place a white candle in the center of the wreath.)
Gather together with no distractions to light the candles of the Advent wreath and to share this time of spiritual fellowship. Family members might enjoy reading aloud the parts: the narrator, the angel of the Lord, and the shepherds. Everyone may join in as the multitude of the heavenly host.
First Reader: We celebrate the arrival of Jesus, our Lord! We light the four candles for hope, joy, love, and peace. We also light the white candle in the center to remind us of Christ, the light of the world!
Second Reader: Let’s listen closely to God’s word for us in our Bible passage.
Luke, chapter 2, verses 1 through 20, says, “In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But 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. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”
Conversation: Take turns talking about the Bible passage. What stood out for you in this passage? Why did it draw your attention? What does it mean for your life today?
Pray aloud together this Family Litany.
One: Dear God, we gratefully celebrate the birth of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.
All: You have brought us through this season of waiting. Our hearts are full of your love.
One: We join our voices with the angels, who are always singing joyful songs of praise to you.
All: Glory, glory, glory to God in the highest heaven! Peace to all of God’s people on earth!
One: Make us faithful witnesses like the shepherds who told their neighbors: the Savior of the world is here!
All: The glorious light of Christ shines brightly for everyone. Hallelujah!