Hope: Isaiah 9:2-7
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned.
3 You have made the nation great;
you have increased its joy.
They rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest,
as those who divide plunder rejoice.
4 As on the day of Midian, you’ve shattered the yoke that burdened them,
the staff on their shoulders,
and the rod of their oppressor.
5 Because every boot of the thundering warriors,
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned, fuel for the fire.
6 A child is born to us, a son is given to us,
and authority will be on his shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be vast authority and endless peace
for David’s throne and for his kingdom,
establishing and sustaining it
with justice and righteousness
now and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of heavenly forces will do this.
Peace: Isaiah 52:7-10
How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of a messenger
who proclaims peace,
who brings good news,
who proclaims salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God rules!”
8 Listen! Your lookouts lift their voice;
they sing out together!
Right before their eyes they see the Lord returning to Zion.
9 Break into song together, you ruins of Jerusalem!
The Lord has comforted his people and has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm in view of all the nations;
all the ends of the earth have seen our God’s victory.
Joy: Hebrews 1:1-12
The Son is God’s ultimate messenger
1 In the past, God spoke through the prophets to our ancestors in many times and many ways. 2 In these final days, though, he spoke to us through a Son. God made his Son the heir of everything and created the world through him. 3 The Son is the light of God’s glory and the imprint of God’s being. He maintains everything with his powerful message. After he carried out the cleansing of people from their sins, he sat down at the right side of the highest majesty. 4 And the Son became so much greater than the other messengers, such as angels, that he received a more important title than theirs.
Speaking to the Son and angels
5 After all, when did God ever say to any of the angels:
You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father?
I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son?
6 But then, when he brought his firstborn into the world, he said,
All of God’s angels must worship him.
7 He talks about the angels:
He’s the one who uses the spirits for his messengers
and who uses flames of fire as ministers.
8 But he says to his Son,
God, your throne is forever
and your kingdom’s scepter is a rod of justice.
9 You loved righteousness and hated lawless behavior.
That is why God, your God,
has anointed you more than your companions with the oil of joy.
10 And he says,
You, Lord, laid the earth’s foundations in the beginning,
and the heavens are made by your hands.
11 They will pass away,
but you remain.
They will all wear out like old clothes.
12 You will fold them up like a coat.
They will be changed like a person changes clothes,
but you stay the same,
and the years of your life won’t come to an end.
Love: Luke 2:1-20
2 In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. 2 This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. 3 Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. 4 Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. 5 He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. 7 She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.
Announcement to shepherds
8 Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. 9 The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. 11 Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. 12 This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, 14 “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”
15 When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” 16 They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. 18 Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. 20 The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.