2 Corinthians 3:12
Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness,
Hope has been bold in many ways and in many places. "A Night in Bethlehem" began as a bold vision that we continue to hold. It is a bold mission that is all about giving ourselves away. It is a bold mission because of the work and investment we make. It is bold mission because of the sheer numbers that are needed to make it what it is.
Lord God, we give thanks that we can boldly share your love through A Night in Bethlehem. Help us to respond boldly with confidence when called upon to serve. Amen.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
Today's verse comes from Mary's song. They are powerful words from a young unmarried woman who is responding with a yes to bear Jesus. Where in your life have you said yes to God?
God of the highs and lows, Mary's song challenges us and inspires our imaginations. Bring your Spirit into our lives and through our work on a Night in Bethlehem that we may imagine ourselves in your loving gaze and imagine a world in which both the lofty and the lowly discover you love. Amen.
Jesus said, "I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete."
Today we gather at one worship service at 10 AM with a luncheon to follow. If you haven't signed up, you will have an opportunity to do so today for a Night in Bethlehem.
Lord God, may we be a blessing to this community and may our work enable us to share the love of Jesus near and far. Amen.
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!
These are the words the angels shared as they invited the shepherds to come and see. They make haste and find Mary and Joseph with Jesus lying in a manger. Who might you invite to come and see?
Lord God, we ask that you begin to help us our inviting to come and see. Help us to share your love to this community. Use us like you used the angels that first Christmas.
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
"Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."
Simeon offers these words after seeing Jesus in the temple when he was eight days old. God had promised he would live to see the Messiah and having seen the Messiah his life is fulfilled. How have you been given peace because you have seen Jesus?
Almighty God, you come as a babe in a manger and you came to deliver your people and us. Help us to know the peace and joy and help us to share these through a Night in Bethlehem. Amen.
Do not be afraid; for see-I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
Whenever people experience angels, the first response always seems to be fear. Yet these angels bring incredibly good news. We too have good news to share with the world. Please be praying for all those we will invite and all those who will come to experience this good news.
Lord God, we continue to pray for all those who will be invited and all those who will come to experience a Night in Bethlehem. May we all know that this savior has been born for us. Amen
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
These verses come from Zechariah and they are the first words his spoke after writing down the name of his son, John. John who would be John the Baptist. God keeps God's promises!
Loving Lord, you are the keeper of promises. You promised you would send a savior and that savior Jesus has come and remains with us to this day. May be celebrate that presence this day and may we share that presence through A Night in Bethlehem. Amen.