The Season of Christmas
Christian Worship: Hymnal (2021)
3-Year Lectionary, Year B
The Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Eve)
The Lord spoke to Ahaz again. He said, 11“Ask for a sign from the Lord your God. Ask for it either in the depths below or in the heights above.”
12But Ahaz responded, “I will not ask. I will not test the Lord.”
13So Isaiah said:
Listen now, you house of David. Is it not enough for you to test the patience of men? Will you test the patience of my God as well? 14Therefore the Lord himself will give a sign for all of you. Look! The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and name him Immanuel.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior toward mankind appeared, 5he saved us—not by righteous works that we did ourselves, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and the renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs in keeping with the hope of eternal life.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3And everyone went to register, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the town of Nazareth, into Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and family line of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, his wife, who was pledged to him in marriage and was expecting a child.
6And so it was that while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8There were in the same country shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified! 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. For behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all people: 11Today in the town of David, a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude from the heavenly army, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward mankind.”
15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Now let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they told others the message they had been told about this child. 18And all who heard it were amazed by what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Day)
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
from you, will go out the one who will be the ruler for me in Israel.
His goings forth are from the beginning, from the days of eternity.
3Therefore the Lord will give them up,
until the time when the woman who is in labor bears a child.
Then the remaining survivors from his brothers will return to the people of Israel.
4He will stand and shepherd with the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
They will dwell securely, for at that time he will be great to the ends of the earth.
5This one will be their peace.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son to be born of a woman, so that he would be born under the law, 5in order to redeem those under the law, so that we would be adopted as sons. 6And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts to shout, “Abba, Father!” 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son. And if you are a son, then you are also an heir of God through Christ.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him everything was made, and without him not one thing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5The light is shining in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6There was a man, sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as an eyewitness to testify about the light so that everyone would believe through him. 8He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.
9The real light that shines on everyone was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not recognize him. 11He came to what was his own, yet his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who did receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. 13They were born, not of blood, or of the desire of the flesh, or of a husband’s will, but born of God.
14The Word became flesh and dwelled among us. We have seen his glory, the glory he has as the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The First Sunday after Christmas
1 Kings 8:6–13
The priests brought the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to its place in the inner sanctuary of the house, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim, 7for the cherubim were spreading their wings over the place for the ark, so that the cherubim covered the ark and its poles with their wings. 8The poles were so long that the ends of the poles could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from outside. They are there to this day.
9There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets, which Moses had placed there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt.
10When the priests came out from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the House of the Lord. 11The priests were not able to take their positions to minister in the presence of the cloud, because the Glory of the Lord had filled the House of the Lord.
12Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he dwells in thick darkness. 13I have truly built a majestic house for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”
Therefore, as God’s elect, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13Bear with one another and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against anyone else. Forgive, just as Christ forgave you. 14And, in addition to all these things, put on love, which ties things together in perfect unity. 15Let the peace of Christ control your hearts, to which you were also called, in one body. And be thankful.
16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And everything you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
25Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, waiting for the comfort of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27Moved by the Spirit he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law, 28Simeon took him into his arms and praised God. He said,
29Lord, you now dismiss your servant in peace, according to your word,
30because my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared before the face of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.
33Joseph and the child’s mother were amazed at the things that were spoken about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Listen carefully, this child is appointed for the falling and rising of many in Israel and for a sign that is spoken against, 35so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36Anna, a prophetess, was there. She was a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old. She had lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, 37and then she was a widow of eighty-four years. She did not leave the temple complex, since she was worshipping with fasting and prayers night and day. 38Standing nearby at that very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord. She kept speaking about the child to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39When they had accomplished everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town, Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.
The Second Sunday after Christmas
Remember the Sabbath day by setting it apart as holy. 9Six days you are to serve and do all your regular work, 10but the seventh day shall be a sabbath rest to the Lord your God. Do not do any regular work, neither you, nor your sons or daughters, nor your male or female servants, nor your cattle, nor the alien who is residing inside your gates, 11for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. In this way the Lord blessed the seventh day and made it holy.
12Honor your father and your mother so that you may spend many days on the land that the Lord your God is giving to you.
Certainly it was fitting for God (the one for whom and through whom everything exists), in leading many sons to glory, to bring the author of their salvation to his goal through sufferings. 11For he who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified all have one Father. For that reason, he is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12He says:
I will declare your name to my brothers.
Within the congregation I will sing your praise.
I will trust in him.
Here I am and the children God has given me.
14Therefore, since the children share flesh and blood, he also shared the same flesh and blood, so that through death he could destroy the one who had the power of death (that is, the Devil) 15and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. 16For surely he was not concerned with helping angels but with helping Abraham’s offspring. 17For this reason, he had to become like his brothers in every way, in order that he would be a merciful and faithful high priest in the things pertaining to God, so that he could pay for the sins of the people. 18Indeed, because he suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Every year his parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up according to the custom of the Festival. 43When the days had ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it. 44Since they thought he was in their group, they went a day’s journey. Then they began to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him.
46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us this way? See, your father and I have been anxiously looking for you.”
49He said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be taking care of my Father’s business?” 50They did not understand what he was telling them.
51He went down with them and came to Nazareth. He was always obedient to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. 52Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.