Christmas isn’t over yet. We will be reading these each night as a family. All scripture from CEB, all prayers original and by me.
December 25: Christmas Day (1)
In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.
Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”
When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told. (CEB)
Christ, Jesus, be born in us today. Fill us with wonder and glory. Show us in our fear that we can still be amazed at your Good News. Amen.
December 26 (Christmas 2)
In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
The Word was with God in the beginning.
Everything came into being through the Word,
and without the Word
nothing came into being. (CEB)
Creating Word, pull us into being in you, so that we can fully exist. Amen.
December 27 (Christmas 3)
What came into being
through the Word was life,
and the life was the light for all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light. (CEB)
Living Word, shine your light on us so we can see your love. Amen.
December 28 (Christmas 4)
The Word became flesh
and made his home among us.
We have seen his glory,
glory like that of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth. (CEB)
Human Word, live among us so that we can see your truth. Amen.
December 29 (Christmas 5)
“Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word,
because my eyes have seen your salvation.
You prepared this salvation in the presence of all peoples.
It’s a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and a glory for your people Israel.” (CEB)
Saving God, give us rest, we are so tired. We need your help. Amen.
December 30 (Christmas 6)
I’m going to bring them back from the north;
I will gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the disabled,
expectant mothers and those in labor;
a great throng will return here. (CEB)
Gathering God, we are so far apart. We long to be together. Be present with us while we wait to gather in your presence. Amen.
December 31 (Christmas 7)
With tears of joy they will come;
while they pray, I will bring them back.
I will lead them by quiet streams
and on smooth paths so they don’t stumble. (CEB)
Guiding God, let us know that our feelings are valuable, and that you honor our tears as we wait for you to bring us together. Amen.
January 1 (Christmas 8)
God said, “Truly, they are my people,
children who won’t do what is wrong.”
God became their savior.
During all their distress, God also was distressed,
so a messenger who served him saved them.
In love and mercy God redeemed them,
lifting and carrying them throughout earlier times. (CEB)
God of old and new, be with us in hard times. Carry us, make us yours. Amen.
January 2 (Christmas 9)
When the magi had departed, an angel from the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod will soon search for the child in order to kill him.” Joseph got up and, during the night, took the child and his mother to Egypt. He stayed there until Herod died. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: I have called my son out of Egypt. (CEB)
God of refuge, be with refugees who flee for their lives. Move us to prepare safe places for them as you prepared for Jesus’ family when he was a child. Amen.
January 3 (Christmas 10)
A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and much grieving.
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she did not want to be comforted,
because they were no more. (CEB)
God of sadness, grieve with us when we learn of unjust death. Help us change the world so that mothers no longer lose their children from violence, unnecessary disease, and hunger. Amen.
January 4 (Christmas 11)
After King Herod died, an angel from the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up,” the angel said, “and take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel. Those who were trying to kill the child are dead.” Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. (CEB)
God of protection, bring us home to you, make us a home wherever we are. Amen.
January 5 (Christmas 12)
Arise! Shine! Your light has come;
the Lord’s glory has shone upon you.
Though darkness covers the earth
and gloom the nations,
the Lord will shine upon you;
God’s glory will appear over you.
Nations will come to your light
and kings to your dawning radiance. (CEB)
God of Christmas, with your birth your dawn approaches, shine your light through us. Amen.
January 6 Epiphany
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him.”
When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and everyone in Jerusalem was troubled with him. He gathered all the chief priests and the legal experts and asked them where the Christ was to be born. They said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote:
You, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
by no means are you least among the rulers of Judah,
because from you will come one who governs,
who will shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod secretly called for the magi and found out from them the time when the star had first appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you’ve found him, report to me so that I too may go and honor him.” When they heard the king, they went; and look, the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route. (CEB)
King Jesus, reveal our lies and false words, so that in truth and honesty we honor you. Amen.