December 24th, 2018

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 (LSB): Isaiah 9:2-7


 2 The people walking in darkness
       have seen a great light;
       on those living in the land of the shadow of death [a]
       a light has dawned.

 3 You have enlarged the nation
       and increased their joy;
       they rejoice before you
       as people rejoice at the harvest,
       as men rejoice
       when dividing the plunder.

 4 For as in the day of Midian's defeat,
       you have shattered
       the yoke that burdens them,
       the bar across their shoulders,
       the rod of their oppressor.

 5 Every warrior's boot used in battle
       and every garment rolled in blood
       will be destined for burning,
       will be fuel for the fire.

 6 For to us a child is born,
       to us a son is given,
       and the government will be on his shoulders.
       And he will be called
       Wonderful Counselor, [b] Mighty God,
       Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 7 Of the increase of his government and peace
       there will be no end.
       He will reign on David's throne
       and over his kingdom,
       establishing and upholding it
       with justice and righteousness
       from that time on and forever.
       The zeal of the LORD Almighty
       will accomplish this.

Footnotes:Isaiah 9:2 Or land of darkness Isaiah 9:6 Or Wonderful, Counselor


Old Testament: Isaiah 7:10-14


 10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 11 "Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights."

 12 But Ahaz said, "I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test."

 13 Then Isaiah said, "Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you [a] a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and [b] will call him Immanuel. [c]

Footnotes:Isaiah 7:14 The Hebrew is plural. Isaiah 7:14 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls and he or and they Isaiah 7:14 Immanuel means God with us .


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


 11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.





 2 The people walking in darkness
       have seen a great light;
       on those living in the land of the shadow of death [a]
       a light has dawned.

 3 You have enlarged the nation
       and increased their joy;
       they rejoice before you
       as people rejoice at the harvest,
       as men rejoice
       when dividing the plunder.

 4 For as in the day of Midian's defeat,
       you have shattered
       the yoke that burdens them,
       the bar across their shoulders,
       the rod of their oppressor.

 5 Every warrior's boot used in battle
       and every garment rolled in blood
       will be destined for burning,
       will be fuel for the fire.

 6 For to us a child is born,
       to us a son is given,
       and the government will be on his shoulders.
       And he will be called
       Wonderful Counselor, [b] Mighty God,
       Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 7 Of the increase of his government and peace
       there will be no end.
       He will reign on David's throne
       and over his kingdom,
       establishing and upholding it
       with justice and righteousness
       from that time on and forever.
       The zeal of the LORD Almighty
       will accomplish this.

Footnotes:Isaiah 9:2 Or land of darkness Isaiah 9:6 Or Wonderful, Counselor


Gospel: Luke 2:1-14


The Birth of Jesus

 1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14"Glory to God in the highest,
      and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Footnotes:Luke 2:11 Or Messiah. "The Christ" (Greek) and "the Messiah" (Hebrew) both mean "the Anointed One"; also in verse 26.


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


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


 21 "Remember these things, O Jacob,
       for you are my servant, O Israel.
       I have made you, you are my servant;
       O Israel, I will not forget you.

 22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
       your sins like the morning mist.
       Return to me,
       for I have redeemed you."

 23 Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this;
       shout aloud, O earth beneath.
       Burst into song, you mountains,
       you forests and all your trees,
       for the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
       he displays his glory in Israel.

Jerusalem to Be Inhabited
 24 "This is what the LORD says—
       your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
       I am the LORD,
       who has made all things,
       who alone stretched out the heavens,
       who spread out the earth by myself,

 25 who foils the signs of false prophets
       and makes fools of diviners,
       who overthrows the learning of the wise
       and turns it into nonsense,

 26 who carries out the words of his servants
       and fulfills the predictions of his messengers,
       who says of Jerusalem, 'It shall be inhabited,'
       of the towns of Judah, 'They shall be built,'
       and of their ruins, 'I will restore them,'

 27 who says to the watery deep, 'Be dry,
       and I will dry up your streams,'

 28 who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd
       and will accomplish all that I please;
       he will say of Jerusalem, "Let it be rebuilt,"
       and of the temple, "Let its foundations be laid." '

 1 "This is what the LORD says to his anointed,
       to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
       to subdue nations before him
       and to strip kings of their armor,
       to open doors before him
       so that gates will not be shut:

 2 I will go before you
       and will level the mountains [a] ;
       I will break down gates of bronze
       and cut through bars of iron.

 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness,
       riches stored in secret places,
       so that you may know that I am the LORD,
       the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

 4 For the sake of Jacob my servant,
       of Israel my chosen,
       I summon you by name
       and bestow on you a title of honor,
       though you do not acknowledge me.

 5 I am the LORD, and there is no other;
       apart from me there is no God.
       I will strengthen you,
       though you have not acknowledged me,

 6 so that from the rising of the sun
       to the place of its setting
       men may know there is none besides me.
       I am the LORD, and there is no other.

 7 I form the light and create darkness,
       I bring prosperity and create disaster;
       I, the LORD, do all these things.

 8 "You heavens above, rain down righteousness;
       let the clouds shower it down.
       Let the earth open wide,
       let salvation spring up,
       let righteousness grow with it;
       I, the LORD, have created it.

 9 "Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker,
       to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground.
       Does the clay say to the potter,
       'What are you making?'
       Does your work say,
       'He has no hands'?

 10 Woe to him who says to his father,
       'What have you begotten?'
       or to his mother,
       'What have you brought to birth?'

 11 "This is what the LORD says—
       the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
       Concerning things to come,
       do you question me about my children,
       or give me orders about the work of my hands?

 12 It is I who made the earth
       and created mankind upon it.
       My own hands stretched out the heavens;
       I marshaled their starry hosts.

 13 I will raise up Cyrus [b] in my righteousness:
       I will make all his ways straight.
       He will rebuild my city
       and set my exiles free,
       but not for a price or reward,
       says the LORD Almighty."

Footnotes:Isaiah 45:2 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; the meaning of the word in the Masoretic Text is uncertain. Isaiah 45:13 Hebrew him




 20 He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him;
       he cannot save himself, or say,
       "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"

 21 "Remember these things, O Jacob,
       for you are my servant, O Israel.
       I have made you, you are my servant;
       O Israel, I will not forget you.

 22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
       your sins like the morning mist.
       Return to me,
       for I have redeemed you."

 23 Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this;
       shout aloud, O earth beneath.
       Burst into song, you mountains,
       you forests and all your trees,
       for the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
       he displays his glory in Israel.

Jerusalem to Be Inhabited
 24 "This is what the LORD says—
       your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
       I am the LORD,
       who has made all things,
       who alone stretched out the heavens,
       who spread out the earth by myself,

 25 who foils the signs of false prophets
       and makes fools of diviners,
       who overthrows the learning of the wise
       and turns it into nonsense,



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


Second Reading: Rev. 12:1-17


The Woman and the Dragon

 1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

 7And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

 10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
   "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
      and the authority of his Christ.
   For the accuser of our brothers,
      who accuses them before our God day and night,
      has been hurled down.
 11They overcame him
      by the blood of the Lamb
      and by the word of their testimony;
   they did not love their lives so much
      as to shrink from death.
 12Therefore rejoice, you heavens
      and you who dwell in them!
   But woe to the earth and the sea,
      because the devil has gone down to you!
   He is filled with fury,
      because he knows that his time is short."

 13When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. 15Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.



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