December 24th, 2017

Eve of the Nativity (Christmas Eve)


Collect (LSB)

O God, You make this most holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that as we have known the mysteries of that Light on earth, we may also come to the fullness of His joys in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Old Testament: Isaiah 7:10-14


The Immanuel Prophecy

    10 Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!” 13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.[a]

Footnotes:Isaiah 7:14 Literally God-With-Us


Old Testament (LSB): Isaiah 9:2-7


2 The people who walked in darkness
      Have seen a great light;
      Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
      Upon them a light has shined.
       3 You have multiplied the nation
      And increased its joy;[a]
      They rejoice before You
      According to the joy of harvest,
      As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
       4 For You have broken the yoke of his burden
      And the staff of his shoulder,
      The rod of his oppressor,
      As in the day of Midian.
       5 For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle,
      And garments rolled in blood,
      Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.
       6 For unto us a Child is born,
      Unto us a Son is given;
      And the government will be upon His shoulder.
      And His name will be called
      Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
       7 Of the increase of His government and peace
      There will beno end,
      Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
      To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
      From that time forward, even forever.
      The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Footnotes:Isaiah 9:3 Following Qere and Targum; Kethib and Vulgate read not increased joy; Septuagint reads Most of the people You brought down in Your joy.


Epistle: Titus 2:11-14; Isaiah 9:2-7


Trained by Saving Grace

    11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.





2 The people who walked in darkness
      Have seen a great light;
      Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
      Upon them a light has shined.
       3 You have multiplied the nation
      And increased its joy;[a]
      They rejoice before You
      According to the joy of harvest,
      As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
       4 For You have broken the yoke of his burden
      And the staff of his shoulder,
      The rod of his oppressor,
      As in the day of Midian.
       5 For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle,
      And garments rolled in blood,
      Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.
       6 For unto us a Child is born,
      Unto us a Son is given;
      And the government will be upon His shoulder.
      And His name will be called
      Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
       7 Of the increase of His government and peace
      There will beno end,
      Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
      To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
      From that time forward, even forever.
      The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Footnotes:Isaiah 9:3 Following Qere and Targum; Kethib and Vulgate read not increased joy; Septuagint reads Most of the people You brought down in Your joy.


Gospel: Luke 2:1-14


Christ Born of Mary

 1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,[a] who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

    8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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,
      And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[c]

Footnotes:Luke 2:5 NU-Text omits wife. Luke 2:9 NU-Text omits behold. Luke 2:14 NU-Text reads toward men of goodwill.


Matins Psalm(s): Ps. 19; Ps. 45; Ps. 85


Vespers Psalm(s): Ps. 89; Ps. 110; Ps. 132


First Reading: Is. 44:21-45:13; Is. 44:20-25


Israel Is Not Forgotten

    21 “ Remember these, O Jacob,
      And Israel, for you are My servant;
      I have formed you, you are My servant;
      O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!
       22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions,
      And like a cloud, your sins.
      Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
       23 Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it!
      Shout, you lower parts of the earth;
      Break forth into singing, you mountains,
      O forest, and every tree in it!
      For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
      And glorified Himself in Israel.

Judah Will Be Restored

    24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
      And He who formed you from the womb:
      “ I am the LORD, who makes all things,
      Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
      Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
       25 Who frustrates the signs of the babblers,
      And drives diviners mad;
      Who turns wise men backward,
      And makes their knowledge foolishness;
       26 Who confirms the word of His servant,
      And performs the counsel of His messengers;
      Who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited,’
      To the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’
      And I will raise up her waste places;
       27 Who says to the deep, ‘Be dry!
      And I will dry up your rivers’;
       28 Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd,
      And he shall perform all My pleasure,
      Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,”
      And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”’

Cyrus, God’s Instrument

 1 “Thus says the LORD to His anointed,
      To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—
      To subdue nations before him
      And loose the armor of kings,
      To open before him the double doors,
      So that the gates will not be shut:
       2 ‘ I will go before you
      And make the crooked places[a] straight;
      I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
      And cut the bars of iron.
       3 I will give you the treasures of darkness
      And hidden riches of secret places,
      That you may know that I, the LORD,
      Who call you by your name,
      Am the God of Israel.
       4 For Jacob My servant’s sake,
      And Israel My elect,
      I have even called you by your name;
      I have named you, though you have not known Me.
       5 I am the LORD, and there is no other;
      There is no God besides Me.
      I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
       6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
      That there is none besides Me.
      I am the LORD, and there is no other;
       7 I form the light and create darkness,
      I make peace and create calamity;
      I, the LORD, do all these things.
       8 “ Rain down, you heavens, from above,
      And let the skies pour down righteousness;
      Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation,
      And let righteousness spring up together.
      I, the LORD, have created it.
       9 “ Woe to him who strives with his Maker!
      Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth!
      Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
      Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?
       10 Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting?’
      Or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth?’”
       11 Thus says the LORD,
      The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
      “ Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons;
      And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.
       12 I have made the earth,
      And created man on it.
      I—My hands—stretched out the heavens,
      And all their host I have commanded.
       13 I have raised him up in righteousness,
      And I will direct all his ways;
      He shall build My city
      And let My exiles go free,
      Not for price nor reward,”
      Says the LORD of hosts.

Footnotes:Isaiah 45:2 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint read mountains; Targum reads I will trample down the walls; Vulgate reads I will humble the great ones of the earth.




20 He feeds on ashes;
      A deceived heart has turned him aside;
      And he cannot deliver his soul,
      Nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Israel Is Not Forgotten

    21 “ Remember these, O Jacob,
      And Israel, for you are My servant;
      I have formed you, you are My servant;
      O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!
       22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions,
      And like a cloud, your sins.
      Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
       23 Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it!
      Shout, you lower parts of the earth;
      Break forth into singing, you mountains,
      O forest, and every tree in it!
      For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
      And glorified Himself in Israel.

Judah Will Be Restored

    24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
      And He who formed you from the womb:
      “ I am the LORD, who makes all things,
      Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
      Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
       25 Who frustrates the signs of the babblers,
      And drives diviners mad;
      Who turns wise men backward,
      And makes their knowledge foolishness;
      



Second Reading: Rev. 12:1-17


The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon

 1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

Satan Thrown Out of Heaven

    7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them[a] in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

The Woman Persecuted

    13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.[b]

Footnotes:Revelation 12:8 M-Text reads him. Revelation 12:17 NU-Text and M-Text omit Christ.


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