Year ABC
The Feast of the Nativity
Proper III - December 25



Eucharistic Preface

Let us lift up our hearts.
    We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
    It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for you have revealed your justice to the nations
and recalled your merciful love for your people.

In the beginning your Word created the world.
Through your Word, life was brought into being,
and the life was the light that overcomes the darkness.
Your messenger came bringing the good news of peace
so that all might know the Word and believe.

And tonight the good news is fulfilled:
the Word has become flesh.
Though comforted at the breast, he is your exact likeness.
Though the world did not know him,
he bears the imprint of your very being.
Though his own people gave him no welcome,
in him we have seen your glory, full of grace and truth.
He will come to rule the world in justice
and in him all the earth shall see your salvation.

Therefore with .....

©2004 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Short Preface
(for insertion into Eucharistic prayers with fixed prefaces)

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for your Word has become flesh among us.
Though the world did not know him,
he bears the imprint of your very being.
Though his own people turned him away,
in him we have seen your glory, full of grace and truth.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




General Prayer of Thanksgiving
(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

We give you all thanks and praise, O God,
for you have revealed your justice to the nations
and recalled your merciful love for your people.

In the beginning your Word created the world.
Through your Word, life was brought into being,
and the life was the light that overcomes the darkness.
Your messenger came bringing the good news of peace
so that all might know the Word and believe.

And tonight the good news is fulfilled:
the Word has become flesh.
Though comforted at the breast, he is your exact likeness.
Though the world did not know him,
he bears the imprint of your very being.
Though his own people gave him no welcome,
in him we have seen your glory, full of grace and truth.
He will come to rule the world in justice
and in him all the earth shall see your salvation.

Therefore, with our hearts lifted high,
we offer you thanks and praise at all times
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

©2004 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Declaration of Grace / Absolution

Jesus Christ, the exact likeness of God’s own being,
has come into the world full of grace and truth.
He has made purification for sins,
and to all who believe in him,
he gives the power to become children of God.

Sisters and Brothers,
    your sins are forgiven;
        be at peace.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now, and join your voices
with the song of joy in all creation.
Announce peace.
Herald salvation.
Let the earth know that God reigns.

And may God sustain you with his powerful Word.
May Christ Jesus be born as Saviour within you.
And may the Spirit reveal to you the glory
of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
    In the name of Christ. Amen.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net






Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for the Feast of the Nativity - Proper III - December 25
Lections from The Revised Common Lectionary.
Copyright 1992 by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT)
P. O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville, TN 37203-0003, USA. Used with Permission.




* Isaiah 52: 7-10

Talk about a sight for sore eyes!
Here comes the messenger, galloping down the mountain,
    bringing the news that God’s people have been hanging out for:
        “You are saved!
        God is in control!
        Finally there will be peace!”

So now its time to celebrate like crazy!

Those of you who were standing, tense and silent, on the lookout
    can let your hair down and sing and dance.
Fearing the worst, you saw the best:
    the LORD returning home to reclaim the city!

You whose streets and homes were reduced to rubble
    can raise your glasses and sing together,
for the LORD has put an arm around your shoulders,
    reclaimed your streets, and begun rebuilding.

In full view of every nation
    the LORD has brandished a hard fist,
        ready to deal with would-be oppressors.
Now is the time for the whole earth to see
    the freedom God promised,
        the peace we longed for!

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 98

We sing like we’ve never sung before, LORD,
........because you have done fantastic things.
With your sleeves rolled up you got stuck in
........and came out on top.

Your victory has made the headlines, LORD,
........now the whole world can see that you were right all along.

You have never defaulted on your rock-solid love,
........or your loyalty to your chosen people.
From one end of the earth to the other,
........everyone has seen your victory.

With all the world, LORD, we raise a noisy celebration,
........singing our lungs out and shouting your praise.

The bands strike up in your honour, LORD,
........filling the air with festive music.
With a brass fanfare and a dancing beat
........we loudly celebrate your reign over us.

The whole creation joins in the celebration:
........the ocean and its creatures roar their approval;
the land and its animals, cheer and stomp;
........rivers and lakes give a standing ovation,
................mountains and hills erupt in applause.

We put on the whole show in your presence, LORD,
........celebrating your arrival as you finally bring justice.
With you in charge we know things will be put right;
........now every one on earth will get a fair go.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Hebrews 1: 1-4, (5-12)

........Down through the years, God has spoken to our ancestors through the prophets in all sorts of different ways. Lately though, at long last, God has sent a Son to speak to us directly. It was through this Son that God created the world in the first place, and it will all belong to him in the end. You can see all the glory of God mirrored in this Son. God’s essential nature is imprinted on him perfectly. Everything in the universe holds together at his say so. The Son took action to bring about the forgiveness of sins, and having done that he was given the most honoured seat in heaven as God’s right hand man. He had proven himself to be in a league above the angels, and the title he was granted made this clear.
........Think about it; God never said to any of the angels:

“You are my Son;
........for I have conceived you and brought you to birth.”
Nor did God ever say of of angel:
“I am the Parent,
........and this one is my Child.”
When God’s firstborn is brought forth into the world, God says:
“All my angels are to worship him.”
Referring to the angels, God says:
“I make my angels but a puff of wind,
........and my servants but flames of fire.”
But speaking to the Son, God says:
“Your throne, O God, will never be shaken.
........Your royal power is wielded for justice.
You have a passion for integrity and a loathing for corruption.
Therefore God has chosen you above all others,
........and crowned you with joy like no other has known.”
And again speaking to the Son, God says:
“On day one, Lord, you laid the earth’s foundations,
........and made the stars in the sky by hand.
Earth and sky will one day be gone,
........but you are here for keeps.
They will wear out like favourite work clothes
........or be tossed out like last year’s fashions.
But you are untouched by time or wear,
........and you will be with us forever.”
©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* John 1: 1-14

At the very start, there was one who is called the Word.
........The Word was with God,
................and the Word was God.
........From day one, God and the Word were inseparable.

It was through the Word that everything was created.
........There is absolutely nothing that doesn’t owe its existence to him.

In the Word was life.
........He is the source of the life
................that turns on the lights for everyone.
........The light of his life breaks open the darkness,
................and the darkness could not snuff it out.

Once there was a man on a mission from God;
........his name was John.
John gave a first-hand report about the light,
........spelling it out so that everyone could believe.
He wasn’t the light, himself,
........but he made it his job to draw everyone’s attention to the light.

The real light was on his way into the world;
........the light that lights up inside of everyone.

He was in the world
........but the world didn’t even notice him
................even though it owed its existence to him.

He turned up on his own planet, among those he created,
........but his own people turned their backs on him.

Some people accepted him, though,
........and put their trust in who he said he was
................and what he said he was on about.
He gave to those people all they needed
........to become children of God.
Becoming God’s children had nothing to do
........with sperm and egg,
................or three-stage labour;
........they became God’s children
................when they were born of God.

The Word, though, was born flesh and blood like everyone else.
........He cast in his lot with us
................and rolled out his swag in our midst.
We have seen him in all his glory,
........like father, like son;
warm and generous to a fault,
........solid and true to the core.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net