Keeping Christmas in Christ | 12/24/2020 & 12/27/2020
Reflection on the Word in our Worship
Our Advent preparation opens into 12 Days of celebration and reflection on the Holy Nativity. These are the 12 Days of Christmas. These are days filled gifts and graces as fulfillment follows promise, providing a vision of the Father's love in the gift of His Son. To help us start our celebration and reflection, the narrative of the Holy Nativity in Luke 2 is followed by the prologue of John Gospel in John chapter 1. Opening our hearts and hands to receive the gift of God the Son, St. Augustine chastens our human limitations and urges toward trust and wonder as we consider the Incarnation of the only begotten Son of God.
There are two births of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one divine, the other human.… Consider that first begetting: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Whose Word? The Father’s own. Which Word? The Son himself. The Father has never been without the Son; and yet the one who has never been without the Son begot the Son. He both begot and yet did not begin to do so. There is no beginning for one begotten without beginning. And yet he is the Son, and yet he is begotten. A mere human is going to say, “How is it that he is begotten, and yet he does not have a beginning? If he does not have a beginning, how was he begotten?” How, I do not know. Are you asking a mere human how God was begotten? I am overwhelmed by your questioning, but I appeal to the prophet: “His begetting who can tell the tale of?”
-St. Augustine, in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: John 1-10
The Collect for Christmas Eve
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
The Collect for Christmas Day
Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
The Collect for The First Sunday of Christmas
Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, kindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(Click on the links below to read Sunday's passages)
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 9:1-7
Gospel for Christmas Eve: Luke 2:1-14
Gospel for Christmas Day: Luke 2:15-20
Gospel for the First Sunday of Christmas: John 1:1-18
A downloadable Home Liturgy with Spiritual Communion follows the playlist