By the Rev. Will Weedon
LCMS Director of Worship, International Center Chaplain
The following were anciently read on Christmas Day in the Daily Office, but they may also serve as an introduction to the Divine Service on Christmas Day, read by the pastor from the entrance to the nave and leading directly into “O Come All Ye Faithful” as the processional hymn:
In the year 2015 from the birth of Abraham, in the year 1510 from the exodus of the people of Israel out of Egypt, in the year 1032 from the enthronement of David the prophet and king, in the 60th “week” of the prophecy of Daniel, in the 42nd year of the reign of Caesar Augustus, in the 33rd year of the reign of Herod, when the staff had gone from Judah as has had been prophesied by Jacob the Patriarch, at a time when the whole world was at peace, it pleased God to send His only begotten Son and eternal Word to the world to become Man and to teach us God’s love, to suffer, die and rise from the dead for our salvation.
At that time, the Lord Jesus was born in humble Bethlehem of Judah, and no one knew of it but the Virgin Mary, His mother, and Joseph, her spouse. No one heard of this miracle surpassing all miracles but a few humble shepherds who had been told by angels in the sky that sang this hymn: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Then the Magi came from the East, led by a star in the heaven: they found their way to where the divine Infant rested, and they adored Him, and opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.
To God Incarnate, to the suckling Infant who humbled Himself and took our form, becoming a child of man to make children of God; to the One who later walked among us to teach us the way of salvation and who loved us so much as to give His life for it: to Him be glory, honor, and adoration forever and ever.
O come, let us adore Him!
About Unwrapping the Gifts
Unwrapping the Gifts is a bimonthly publication of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Worship Ministry devoted to providing resources for worship. Everyone involved in planning worship is encouraged to subscribe to the Unwrapping the Gifts RSS feed.
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