Christmas Eve Service of Nine Lessons
8They heard the voice of the Lord God, who was walking around in the garden during the cooler part of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9The Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
10The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.”
11God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?”
12The man said, “The woman you gave to be with me—she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13The Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14The Lord God said to the serpent:
Because you have done this,
you are cursed more than all the livestock,
and more than every wild animal.
You shall crawl on your belly,
and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
15I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed.
He will crush your head,
and you will crush his heel.
15The Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16and said, “I have sworn by myself, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your descendants greatly, like the stars of the sky and like the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the city gates of their enemies. 18In your seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
2The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
On those living in the land of the shadow of death, the light has dawned…
6For to us a child is born.
To us a son is given.
The authority to rule will rest on his shoulders.
His name will be called:
Prince of Peace.
7There will be no limit to his authority
and no end to his peace.
He will rule on David’s throne
and over his kingdom to establish it and to uphold it with justice
and with righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.
A shoot will spring up from the stump of Jesse,
and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.
2The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him:
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
3He will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
nor will he render decisions based on what his ears hear,
4but with righteousness he will judge the poor,
and he will render fair decisions in favor of the humble of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
and with the breath of his lips he will kill the wicked.
5Righteousness will be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his hips.
6The wolf will dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
the calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf together;
and a little child will lead them.
7The cow and the bear will graze.
Their young ones will lie down together.
The lion will eat straw like the cattle.
8The nursing child will play near a cobra’s hole,
and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
9They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea.
2“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come the one to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from ancient times, from eternity.”
3Therefore he will surrender them
until the time she who is in labor gives birth to a child.
Then the remainder of his brothers will return to the children 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.
Luke 1:26-35, 38
26In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, 27to a virgin pledged in marriage to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.”
29But she was greatly troubled by the statement and was wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found favor with God. 31Listen, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
34Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
35The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
38Then Mary said, “See, I am the Lord’s servant. May it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord is dawning upon you.
2Look, the darkness covers the earth,
and deep darkness covers the peoples,
but the Lord will dawn upon you,
and his glory will be seen over you.
3Nations will walk to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
4Look up. Look all around and see!
All of them are gathered. They come to you.
Your sons will come from far away,
and your daughters will be carried on the hip.
5Then you will look and be radiant.
Your heart will race with excitement and burst with joy.
For the great riches of the sea will be delivered to you.
The wealth of the nations will come to you.
6 Caravans of camels will cover your land,
young camels from Midian and Ephah.
All of them from Sheba will come.
They will carry gold and incense,
and they will announce the good news of the Lord’s praises.
18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother, Mary, was pledged in marriage to Joseph. Before they came together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19Joseph, her husband, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her. So he decided to divorce her privately. 20But as he was considering these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22All this happened to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23“Look, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son. And they will name him Immanuel,” which means, “God with us.”
24When Joseph woke up from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him. He took Mary home as his wife, 25but he was not intimate with her until she gave birth to her firstborn son. And he named him Jesus.
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.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, when Herod was king, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked, 2“Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was alarmed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4He gathered together all the people’s chief priests and experts in the law. He asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, because this was written through the prophet:
6You, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are certainly not least among the rulers of Judah: because out of you will come a ruler, who will shepherd my people, Israel.”
7Then Herod secretly summoned the Wise Men and found out from them exactly when the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you find him, report to me, so that I may also go and worship him.”
9After listening to the king, they went on their way. Then the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them, until it stood still over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with overwhelming joy. 11After they went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12Since they had been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.
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 receive 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.