Minister: Lift up your hearts!
Congregation: We lift them up to the Lord!
Our Lord and God, we praise and magnify You. We bless Your name above every name, and exult in the fact that You are a God above all gods.
You promised the world to our father Abraham, and You promised that You would built that city Yourself. He had no place to set his foot, and yet he rejoiced to see this day; he rejoiced to see it and was glad.
You promised the prophet Isaiah that the virgin would conceive, and that the child in the womb would be Immanuel, God with us. God with us means that God was with her, and that He grew within her, and the stars themselves staggered in amazement.
You promised that of the increase of His government there would be no end. You promised that all the nations would stream to Him, for He is the Desire of Nations. The Son of David, born in the city of David, would sit on David’s throne forever and ever. His ancestor, David himself, buckled in gladness under the weight of that promise.
Through another prophet You promised that one, whose goings forth were from all eternity, would be born, born in the town of Bethlehem. The one who had no beginning would be born.
Our Father and God, we stop our mouths in amazement. We have been brought out of exile; we are like those who dream. When we sing our carols, we sometimes have to stop singing for a moment because the words strike us dumb with gladness. “Far as the curse is found.” “And death’s dark shadows put to flight.” “O tidings of comfort and joy.” “Mild he lays His glory by, born that man no more may die.” “Calls you one and calls you all, to gain His everlasting hall.” “When peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling.” “Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.” “Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born.” Amen, and amen.
And so, gracious Father, we worship You now through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end, amen.