December 25th, 2018

The Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas Dawn)

Collect (LSB)

Most merciful God, You gave Your eternal Word to become incarnate of the pure Virgin. Grant Your people grace to put away fleshly lusts, that they may be ready for Your visitation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Old Testament (LSB): Exodus 40:17-21; Exodus 40:34-38

Old Testament: Micah 3:2-4

 2 you who hate good and love evil;
       who tear the skin from my people
       and the flesh from their bones;

 3 who eat my people's flesh,
       strip off their skin
       and break their bones in pieces;
       who chop them up like meat for the pan,
       like flesh for the pot?"

 4 Then they will cry out to the LORD,
       but he will not answer them.
       At that time he will hide his face from them
       because of the evil they have done.

Epistle: Titus 3:4-7

4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Gospel: Luke 2:15-20

 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

First Reading: Is. 49:1-18

The Servant of the LORD

 1 Listen to me, you islands;
       hear this, you distant nations:
       Before I was born the LORD called me;
       from my birth he has made mention of my name.

 2 He made my mouth like a sharpened sword,
       in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
       he made me into a polished arrow
       and concealed me in his quiver.

 3 He said to me, "You are my servant,
       Israel, in whom I will display my splendor."

 4 But I said, "I have labored to no purpose;
       I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.
       Yet what is due me is in the LORD's hand,
       and my reward is with my God."

 5 And now the LORD says—
       he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
       to bring Jacob back to him
       and gather Israel to himself,
       for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD
       and my God has been my strength-

 6 he says:
       "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
       to restore the tribes of Jacob
       and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
       I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
       that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."

 7 This is what the LORD says—
       the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—
       to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation,
       to the servant of rulers:
       "Kings will see you and rise up,
       princes will see and bow down,
       because of the LORD, who is faithful,
       the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."


Restoration of Israel

 8 This is what the LORD says:
       "In the time of my favor I will answer you,
       and in the day of salvation I will help you;
       I will keep you and will make you
       to be a covenant for the people,
       to restore the land
       and to reassign its desolate inheritances,

 9 to say to the captives, 'Come out,'
       and to those in darkness, 'Be free!'
       "They will feed beside the roads
       and find pasture on every barren hill.

 10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
       nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them.
       He who has compassion on them will guide them
       and lead them beside springs of water.

 11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
       and my highways will be raised up.

 12 See, they will come from afar—
       some from the north, some from the west,
       some from the region of Aswan. [a] "

 13 Shout for joy, O heavens;
       rejoice, O earth;
       burst into song, O mountains!
       For the LORD comforts his people
       and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

 14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me,
       the Lord has forgotten me."

 15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
       and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
       Though she may forget,
       I will not forget you!

 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
       your walls are ever before me.

 17 Your sons hasten back,
       and those who laid you waste depart from you.

 18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
       all your sons gather and come to you.
       As surely as I live," declares the LORD,
       "you will wear them all as ornaments;
       you will put them on, like a bride.

Footnotes:Isaiah 49:12 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text Sinim

Second Reading: Matt. 1:1-17

The Genealogy of Jesus

 1A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
    2Abraham was the father of Isaac,
         Isaac the father of Jacob,
         Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
       3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
         Perez the father of Hezron,
         Hezron the father of Ram,
       4Ram the father of Amminadab,
         Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
         Nahshon the father of Salmon,
       5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
         Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
         Obed the father of Jesse,
       6and Jesse the father of King David.
      David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife,
    7Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
         Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
         Abijah the father of Asa,
       8Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
         Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
         Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
       9Uzziah the father of Jotham,
         Jotham the father of Ahaz,
         Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
       10Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
         Manasseh the father of Amon,
         Amon the father of Josiah,
       11and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[a] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
    12After the exile to Babylon:
         Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
         Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
       13Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
         Abiud the father of Eliakim,
         Eliakim the father of Azor,
       14Azor the father of Zadok,
         Zadok the father of Akim,
         Akim the father of Eliud,
       15Eliud the father of Eleazar,
         Eleazar the father of Matthan,
         Matthan the father of Jacob,
       16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

 17Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.[b]

Footnotes:Matthew 1:11 That is, Jehoiachin; also in verse 12 Matthew 1:17 Or Messiah. "The Christ" (Greek) and "the Messiah" (Hebrew) both mean "the Anointed One."


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