Today’s Bible passage is a Christmas favorite. We love that a child was born in a stable and that God’s Son was given from heaven. We also derive greatly comfort from His names – “Wonderfull Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace”. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will toward men.”
The Christmas Story
A star in the sky,
an angel’s voice
Telling the world –
Their flocks by night,
Falling in awe
At this wondrous sight,
No room at the inn,
So a manager bed
Cradled in radiance
The holy Babe’s head –
This is the story that’s living still
In the hearts of all those
Who seek peace and good will.
Helen Steiner Rice
Whatever Is Best
And always God’s ready
And eager and willing
To pour out His mercy,
All of man’s needs for
Peace, joy, and rest
For God gives His children
Whatever is best.
Just give Him chance
To open His treasures,
And He’ll fill your life
With unfathomable pleasures.
Helen Steiner Rice
Give and Receive
God offers this wonderful blessings: those who give will also receive. Whether it’s money, time, energy, or other commodity, spiritual or physical, God does not forget anything we’ve done. He never ignores any generous gifts we offer at a price to ourselves. Whispers of Blessing
A Christmas Prayer
Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate your birth … . may we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding you give us. As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship you in meekness of heart. May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving. Amen.
A CHRISTMAS BLESSING
God grant you the light of Christmas,
which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas,
which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas,
which is justice;
the belief in Christmas,
which is truth;
the all of Christmas,
which is Christ?.
Opening Prayer for Christmas Eve Service
Rev. Dr. Sean B. Murray
Gracious, loving and merciful God, on this Christmas Eve, as the light of your Word penetrates our hearts, as we are reminded of the gift of life and faith, as the glories of the heavenly hosts are echoed in our church, we open ourselves up to your Spirit and give you thanks. We are grateful, Lord Jesus, that your story has become our story, and we celebrate your birth.
Continue, we pray, to instill in us a profound sense of your abiding presence, and help us to take to heart the wonder of your love, that we may walk in your ways and delight in your will.
Help us, Lord God, to be the faithful, gracious, loving, giving and forgiving people you would have us be.
A Prayer for Christmas Morning
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The day of joy returns, Father in Heaven, and crowns another year with peace and good will.
Help us rightly to remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men.
Close the doors of hate and open the doors of love all over the world?
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil, by the blessing that Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
And the Christmas evening bring us to our bed with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus sake.
Three Wise Women would have:
Arrived on time,
Helped Deliver the Baby,
Cleaned the Stable,
Made a Casserole,
Brought Practical Gifts,
THERE WOULD BE
PEACE ON EARTH!
The three Wise Women came from Helen Milleson. The other messages and prayers are some of my favorites.
The following is a Christmas message from Rev. Dr. Bart W. Milleson, Pastor with Trinity United Methodist, King:
A couple of weeks ago, Barbara Gravitt, Dyanne Snyder, and I had the privilege of leading a worship service with some of the residents of Priddy Manor. During the message, we talked about the surprise and perplexity Mary of Nazareth, a young teenager, felt when Gabriel told her, “You are great with child. You have been chosen to be the Mother of the One sent from God to save humanity from sin.”
Imagine the shock on the residents faces who range in age from 70 years to 90 plus when I told them, “Everyone here is ‘Great with child.’ They gave me the look I imagine Mary gave Gabriel. It’s the look I call “the you’re one crazy lunatic” kind of expression. Before they could call the orderlies to carry me away, I attempted to explain what I meant. Jesus lives again through every follower of Jesus. Greater is Emmanuel, Christ in us, than any obstacle, feeling, fear, principality, evil, injustice, or power on earth.
As followers of Jesus, we like Mary, are caught up in possibilities much greater than ourselves. We are delivered into the miraculous possibilities of The Word who spoke creation into being made flesh. We are pregnant with expectation. We live with assurance… no matter how many aches and pains we face, no matter how much energy have, even though our memories may not be quite as sharp as they used to be; God is not through with us yet.
Because our faith has delivered us into the Jesus way of life, we participate in a way of life much bigger than ourselves. We, like Mary, jump full steam into lives that are great with child, great with new creation birth. Every time we reach out to love, every time we share a sacred memory and tell about the time God made his presence known; every time we teach others how to forgive; every time we teach others about what matters most; every time we teach others how we’ve learned to wait on God; every time we live in anticipation that Christ in us will reach out and touch someone else; we cooperate with The Holy Spirit, who like a midwife, empowers us to greet every breath as a “Great with child” birthing moment. We shout out like Mary did to Gabriel, “Here I am. Let it be with me according to your Word.”
After the message, we prayed and shared the sacrament of holy communion. Then we sang some Christmas carols. After the service was over, I went around and shook hands with the sisters and brothers who attended the service. One of the ladies who said she was 92 looked up at me with a twinkle in her eyes and said, “Preacher Bart, who knows? Maybe I am pregnant.” After we finished having a good laugh, she said, “Pregnant with Christmas joy and love; pregnant with expectation.”
Merry Christmas to all of you and Happy New Year.
Peggy Hall Wall has been covering the King Community for many years and can be reached at email@example.com or 336-813-6231.