The Rev. David Gunderson’s Christmas Eve Sermon, 2012

O gracious Light, pure brightness of the living God,

the Word made flesh to dwell among us,

O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed:

Now as we come to the festival of your birth,

beholding your glory with heart and mind,

we sing your praises, O God:

Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,

O Christ of God, O Giver of life,

and to be glorified through all the worlds.

The Lessons

Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 9:2-7

The people who walked in darknesshave seen a great light;those who lived in a land of deep darkness–on them light has shined.You have multiplied the nation,you have increased its joy;they rejoice before youas with joy at the harvest,as people exult when dividing plunder.For the yoke of their burden,and the bar across their shoulders,the rod of their oppressor,you have broken as on the day of Midian.For all the boots of the tramping warriorsand all the garments rolled in bloodshall be burned as fuel for the fire.For a child has been born for us,a son given to us;authority rests upon his shoulders;and he is namedWonderful Counselor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.His authority shall grow continually,and there shall be endless peacefor the throne of David and his kingdom.He will establish and uphold itwith justice and with righteousnessfrom this time onward and forevermore.The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

New Testament Lesson: Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel Lesson: Luke 2:1-20

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.]

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.


Categories News, Sermons | Tags: | Posted on December 24, 2012

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Reverend David Gunderson, Rector

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