Welcoming the King

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION               

Holy One, you have appeared in the flesh, bringing redemption to all. Your glory is made known in this newborn child, this living, blessed hope. Tonight appear again to us in the reading of this wonderful story of grace. Gift of God, Christ-child, we welcome you! Let love be born anew in our hearts on this joyous night. Amen.

THE BIRTH NARRATIVE              Luke 2:1-7                                           The Birth of Jesus

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 

A MINISTRY OF SONG                  “Silent Night! O Holy Night!”

THE FIRST WITNESSES                             Luke 2:7-20                 The Shepherds and the Angels

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 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: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

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.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

**CAROL # 189        “Angels, From the Realms of Glory”       vs. 1, 2

THE MEDITATION        “Welcoming the King”                             

I’d first like to recap the first for W’s of Advent. We prepared for Jesus entrance into the world by waiting, watching, wondering, and working. God’s intervention and interaction comes on God’s time not ours, so we wait. While we wait, our task keeps watch for God’s activity. When we watch, we can expect to see God’s activity. If we don’t watch, we might miss God’s hand in our lives. We constantly wonder about God’s love and grace for us, even in the midst of our failures, God’s love remains steadfast and faithful. When we work with the Holy Spirit, we develop faith that keeps us on the right path.

So now on this Christmas Eve, we welcome Jesus to come into our world. We welcome the Christ Child as we wait, watch, wonder, and work in expectation of his second coming. The question comes how we faithful welcome Christ into our hearts, into our lives, and into our world that seems to ignore our need for a Savior, peace, love, and forgiveness.

Faithful Christians continue to welcome baby Jesus, as the Angels announced his birth, the Shepherds responded, and the Magi kept seeking until they came to the house where they discovered the King of Kings, probably as a toddler. They welcomed Jesus into a world where there was no room in the inn or even with family in the crowded and busy lives of Roman Census. The Jewish King Herod attempted to kill any threat to his position. The Religious Leaders worked to stop the young radical rabbi. The Romans finally executed him. Along the way, some came to believe that Jesus, the Son of God came to establish God’s love and empower faith through the Holy Spirit.

So, let us continue the faith journey by welcoming Christ anew into our hearts, our lives, and our world.

W – WorshipGod welcomes us into the Lord’s presence. We come to worship Jesus our Lord and Savior. We welcome God into our lives when we honor the Lord with our worship.

E – EncounterGod invites us to encounter and experience Jesus in our lives, as we read and devote time to encounter Jesus revealed in Holy Scripture. We experience God’s grace and love.

L – Love – God is love. We welcome the Love of God as we pray. We experience God’s love in our relationship with others. We feel loved by our Creator as we share our faith journey.

C – Caring CommunityThe Christian faith develops a caring community, concerned for the well-being of others. We extend God’s welcome as we demonstrate compassion to our neighbors.

O – Overcome The Lord guides us to overcome sin in our life through the greatest gift of forgiveness. Our sin develops obstacles that hinder our ability to love and care. Jesus came into the world to welcome us home and to overcome our sin.

M – Model – Jesus modeled God’s love and human obedience. Jesus welcomes us to share in mission and ministry as we model Christian Character to those we encounter.

E – Engage – The Holy Spirit encourages us to engage the world with a Christian welcome. As we are welcomed by Almighty God to live a Christ filled life, we engage others to share this faith journey and become more welcoming as we draw closer to the Lord, who entered our world in Bethlehem.

Christmas calls us to welcome the King into our hearts, our lives and our world. So, Let’s welcome Jesus  the King, this Christmas. TGBTG.Amen.

  September 2017  
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