The Season of Christmas
Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal (1993)
3-Year Lectionary, Year B
The Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Eve)
2The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
For those living in the land of the shadow of death, the light has dawned.
3You have multiplied the nation. You have increased its joy.
They rejoice before you like the joy at harvest time,
like the celebration when people divide the plunder.
4For you have shattered the yoke that burdened them.
You have broken the bar on their shoulders and the rod of their oppressor,
as you did in the day of Midian.
5Every boot that marched in battle
and the garments rolled in blood will be burned.
They will be fuel for the fire.
6For to us a child is born.
To us a son is given.
The authority to rule will rest on his shoulders.
He will be named:
Prince of Peace.
7There will be no limit to his authority
and no end to the peace he brings.
He will rule on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
from now on, into eternity.
The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.
11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. 12It trains us to reject ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope, that is, the glorious appearance of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14He gave himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are his own chosen people, eager to do good works.
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)
7How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of a herald,
who proclaims peace and preaches good news,
who proclaims salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God is king!”
8The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voices.
Together they shout for joy,
because with both eyes they will see it
when the Lord returns to Zion.
9Break out, shout for joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem,
because the Lord is comforting his people.
He is redeeming Jerusalem.
10The Lord lays bare his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation from our God.
In the past, God spoke to our forefathers by the prophets at many times and in many ways. 2In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact imprint of the divine nature. He sustains all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
4The Son became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. 5For to which of the angels did God ever say:
You are my Son. Today I have begotten you?
I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.
6And again, when he brought his firstborn into the world, he said:
Let all God’s angels worship him.
7About the angels he says:
He makes his messengers winds and his ministers flaming fire.
8But about the Son he says:
God, your throne is forever and ever,
and the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.
9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy beyond your companions.
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
20Gather! Come! Draw near together,
you survivors from the nations.
They have no knowledge
—those who are lifting up their idols of wood
and praying to a god that cannot save.
21Make an announcement and come close.
Let them consult together.
Who made this known ahead of time?
From time past who announced it?
Was it not I, the Lord?
There is no god except me,
a righteous God and Savior.
There is no one except me.
22Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth,
because I am God,
and there is no other.
23I have sworn by myself.
From my mouth a righteous word has gone out,
and it will not return unfulfilled.
Indeed, to me every knee will bow,
and every tongue will swear allegiance.
24“Only in the Lord,” they will say of me,
“Only in the Lord is there true righteousness and strength.”
To him they will come and be ashamed—
all those who are angry at him.
25In the Lord, all the descendants of Israel will be justified.
They will be praised by him.
12Therefore, 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
2“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
from you, will come the one who will be the ruler for me in Israel.
His goings forth are from ancient times, from 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.
10Certainly 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.
40After hearing his words, some of the people said, “This is truly the Prophet.” 41Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Surely the Christ does not come from Galilee, does he? 42Doesn’t the Scripture say that the Christ comes from David’s descendants and from the little town of Bethlehem where David lived?” 43So the people were divided because of him.