CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP SERVICE — Year A
Gospel: Luke 2:1-20
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
In those days an order went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So it was that a man took his young wife to register in Bethlehem. Little Bethlehem was crowded, overcrowded with people coming to register. There was no room in the inn, no place for the man to take his wife, who was in labor. Finally, they were guided to a cave where animals were lodged. There she gave birth to the infant, surrounded by lowing cattle, by donkeys and oxen. And so he was born, this gloriously impossible baby, in a stable in Bethlehem.
Nearby some shepherds were out in a field with their flocks when suddenly an angel appeared before them and the glory of the Lord shone brilliantly all around them. They were terrified.
“Fear not!” the angel said and told them of the birth of the child who would bring joy to all people. They were told that they would find this holy child wrapped in linen cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly the angel was surrounded by a host of heavenly angels, singing in a mighty chorus to the glory of God.
When the angels left and the shepherds were able to speak, they hurried to Bethlehem. There they found the parents, just as the angel had said, and the baby lying in a manger. They told the story, and the child’s mother listened and treasured their words. Gently the shepherds placed simple gifts by the baby and the parents were left alone with the child, marveling. Holding the child in her arms, rocking, singing, a mother wonders what is going to happen to him, this sweet innocent child who had been conceived by the incredible love of God and who had been born as all human babies are born. God had come to be one of us.
The Good News as spoken through Luke.