Good News Worth Sharing
Call to Worship
L: Today we light the candles of hope, peace, joy, and love.
P: Help us to love one another even as you have loved us.
L: May love be the gift that we share most generously
P: May love be the gift that we receive most joyously. Amen.
Precious Savior, breathlessly we wait for your Coming. All things have been made ready. Come into our waiting hearts that we may celebrate the miraculous day of your birth. Welcome, Lord Jesus, for it is in your name, we pray. Amen.
Old Testament Reading
But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”