The Season of Christmas
Christian Worship: Supplement
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.
1 John 1:1–9
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have observed and our hands have touched regarding the Word of Life— 2the life appeared, and we have seen it. We testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3We are proclaiming what we have seen and heard also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us. Our fellowship is with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. 4We write these things to you so that our joy may be complete.
5This is the message we heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light. In him there is no darkness at all. 6If we say we have fellowship with him but still walk in darkness, we are lying and do not put the truth into practice. 7But if we walk in the light, just as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
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)
Exodus 33:18–23, 34:5–7
18ThenMoses said, “Please show me your glory.”
19The Lord said, “I will make all my goodness pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord in your presence. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy.” 20He said, “You cannot see my face, for no human may see me and live.”
21The Lord also said, “Look, there is a place next to me, where you shall stand on the rock. 22It will happen that, while my glory passes by, I will put you in a crevice in the rock. I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back. But my face will not be seen.”
34:5The Lord came down in the cloud. He took his stand there with Moses and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6The Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and overflowing with mercy and truth, 7maintaining mercy for thousands, forgiving guilt and rebellion and sin. He will by no means clear the guilty. He calls their children and their children’s children to account for the guilt of the fathers, even to the third and the fourth generation.”
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.
15John testified about him. He cried out, “This was the one I spoke about when I said, ‘The one coming after me outranks me because he existed before me.’” 16For out of his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. The only-begotten Son, who is close to the Father’s side, has made him known.
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
2 Samuel 7:8-16
8You are also to say the following to my servant David.
This is what the Lord of Armies says. I took you from the pasture, from following sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel. 9I have been with you wherever you went. I have cut off all your enemies from before you. I will make your reputation great, like that of the great ones on the earth. 10I will set up a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them there. They will dwell there, and they will not be disturbed again. Violent men will not afflict them again as they did at the beginning 11and ever since the day I appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The Lord also declares to you that the Lord himself will make a house for you. 12When your days are complete and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up after you your seed, who will come from your own body. I will establish his kingdom. 13He will build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he sins, I will discipline him with a rod used by men and with blows of the sons of men. 15My faithful mercy will not depart from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I removed to make room for you. 16Your house will stand firm, and your kingdom will endure forever before you. Your throne will be established forever.
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.