Christmas Day Midnight

Today you have options. Choose the one that fits your celebration. There’s a midnight reading if you need a few moments of peace after a late night wrapping session. There’s a reading for dawn, in case your cat wakes you up earlier than you expected. And there’s a reading for the middle of the day—if you’re just sitting around while your dinner cooks.

And if your guests or your pets or your recipes gobbled up all of December 25, and you are looking at this page on December 26 and feeling guilty—stop it! These pages are not here to give you guilt. They are here to give you refreshment when you need it.

Psalm 96 (Link to scriptures here)

Isaiah 9:1-6

Titus 2:11-14

Luke 2:1-14

Notes
Psalm 96: this psalm urges the whole earth to worship God (all the “families of the peoples”), not just the Jewish nation, but everyone.

Isaiah 9: Read Isaiah 9:6 again. Choose one of the descriptions of Jesus, and praise him for that aspect of his person.

Titus 2 tells us how we should be living while we await Jesus’ second coming.

Luke 2:11 speaks of “a Savior, who is “Christ the Lord.” “Christ” is the Greek translation for the Hebrew word “Messiah.” The phrase “Christ the Lord” tells us that this baby is the Messiah and is also God Himself.

Treasure: this is for you

O nations of the world, recognize the LORD;
recognize that the LORD is glorious and strong.
Give to the LORD the glory he deserves!
Bring your offering and come into his courts. (Psalm 96:7-8 NLT)
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. (Isaiah 9:2 NLT)
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. (Titus 2:11-13 NLT)
Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased. (Luke 2:14)

Are you discouraged today?
This great light—it’s for people who dwell in darkness.
This means you, discouraged friend,
no matter what caused your dark season, and even if you are still smack dab in the middle of it.
Maybe Christmas Day itself seems pretty dark, due to a new life situation or those pesky relatives you can’t avoid. This light shines on you. This light is a person–a wonderful counselor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. This light shone on lowly dirty shepherds and a lower class teenage mother. Now he calls us to let his light give us new life.

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold;
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From Heaven’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever over its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet-bards foretold,
When with the ever circling years
Comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

–Edmund Sears, quoted at cyberhymnal.org

Photo Credit:  Henk Bouma

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