The Season of Christmas
Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal (1993)
3-Year Lectionary, Year C
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
1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
18But Samuel ministered before the Lord while he was still a young boy, dressed in a special vest made of linen. 19His mother would make a little robe for him and bring it to him whenever she came up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord give you offspring from this woman in place of the son she asked for, whom she loaned to the Lord.” Then they would go back to their home.
26The young man Samuel continued to grow, and he increased in favor with both the Lord and with men.
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.
41Every 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.
The Second Sunday after Christmas
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty. Walk before me and be blameless. 2I will make my covenant between me and you, and I will make your descendants very numerous.”
3Abram fell on his face. God spoke with him. He said, 4“As for me, this is my covenant with you. You will be the father of many nations. 5Your name will not be Abram anymore, but your name will be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a large group of nations. 6I will make you extremely fruitful, and I will produce nations from you. Kings will come out of you. 7I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you as an everlasting covenant throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
4But 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.
68Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has visited us and prepared redemption for his people.
69He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
70just as he said long ago through the mouth of his holy prophets.
71He raised up salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us,
72in order to show mercy to our fathers by remembering his holy covenant,
73the oath which he swore to Abraham our father,
74to grant deliverance to us from the hand of our enemies,
so that we are able to serve him without fear,
75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.