Loving God, your light shone in the stable of Bethlehem: draw us to worship the Child in the manger, and use us to tell the story of his love to the world; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
READING Isaiah 9: 2-7
2 The people who walk in darkness will see a bright light. The light will shine on those who live in the land of death’s shadow.
3 You will expand the nation and increase its happiness. It will be happy in your presence like those who celebrate the harvest or rejoice when dividing loot.
4 You will break the yoke that burdens them, the bar that is across their shoulders, and the stick used by their oppressor, as you did in the battle against Midian.
5 Every warrior’s boot marching to the sound of battle
and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel in the fire.
6 A child will be born for us. A son will be given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders. He will be named: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and peace will have unlimited growth. He will establish David’s throne and kingdom. He will uphold it with justice and righteousness now and forever. The Lord of Armies is determined to do this!
READING Titus 2: 11-14
11 After all, God’s saving kindness has appeared for the benefit of all people.
12 It trains us to avoid ungodly lives filled with worldly desires so that we can live self-controlled, moral, and godly lives in this present world.
13 At the same time we can expect what we hope for—the appearance of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
14 He gave himself for us to set us free from every sin and to cleanse us so that we can be his special people who are enthusiastic about doing good things.
GOSPEL according to Luke 2: 1-20
8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, “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 Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
PRAYER for Africa
God, refresh Africa and all the world,
Protect and grow our children.
Convict with justice and truth, all our leaders
And fill all hearts with your peace.
For Jesus Christ sake. Amen.
BENEDICTION & COMMISSIONING/SENDING
Go now, glorifying, and praising God
for all you have heard and seen.
Renounce ungodly living and unworthy desires,
and take control of your life with godliness and honour.
And may the God of grace increase your joy.
May Christ Jesus be born as Saviour within you.
And may the Spirit, the Wonderful Counsellor,
make the good news known to you and through you.