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An Advent Reading for Christmas Eve

January 1, 2013

Christmas Eve: Jesus is Born King of Heaven and EarthKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Relight the three purple candles and the pink candle.

Introduction

The word “advent” means coming. Advent is a season of expectation and preparation, as we prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ in his incarnation, and also look ahead to his final advent at the end of time, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and authority and power. By lighting a candle each week of Advent, we remember God’s great promises to Israel and to the world, we recognize our need for God’s mercy and grace, and we prepare to rejoice in the birth of Jesus, our Savior and King, who will come again.

This advent season we have lit candles to remember that Jesus fulfills the stories of Israel, God, and the whole world, and that he is greater than the kingdoms of this earth. All this points us to the beautiful truth we celebrate tomorrow, that Jesus is born king of heaven and earth. Not even heaven could contain its joy as the Son of God stepped into his own creation, taking on human flesh, in order to establish God’s kingdom on earth and save us from our sins.

Scripture

Luke 2:8-15 says:

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
     13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Light the white candle in the center.         

We light the final candle of Advent to celebrate the birth of God’s Son, our Savior and King, who alone can give joy and lasting peace in a dark world so desperately in need of his grace. 

Prayer

Please pray with me:

Gracious Father,
Thank you that you have not left this world in darkness,
but have sent your eternal Son as the light of the world,
to show us your glory, to give us new life and joy.
Open our eyes to see Jesus more clearly,
to trust him more fully,
to serve him more joyfully,
and to find all our satisfaction in him.
Amen.

****

These readings are crafted to follow the story of Matthew 1-2. Click here for weeks one, two, three, or four.

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