Prayer: Great God of love, we praise You for the birth of the Holy Child who came to save us from our sins. We thank You for the words of the prophets that always leads to hope. We thank You for the angels song that tells us to Fear Not and Behold this Day is Born a Saviour. We thank You for the birth of the Holy Child in Bethlehem. We thank You that in Jesus You joined us, sharing our humanity. Glory to You for Your wonderful love. Glory to You, eternal God, through Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, forever. Amen.
Read 1 John 4: 7- 21
For most people, this is the end of Christmas. For most people, Christmas is only one day. For Christians, Christmas continues until Epiphany (6 January 2014). We keep celebrating the birth of the Infant Christ.
Today’s reading seems like an odd one doesn’t it. The reading is not from the Gospels where you would expect us to read. This reading is from the Letter of John to the Christian Community. During the time this letter was written, the Christian Community was beginning to have a lot of confusion what to believe. John writes that the story of Christ is a simple one. The story begins and ends with the love of God.
Since God loved us enough to send His Son into the world so that we might be forgiven, we also ought to love one another. Loving one another is easy. We love unconditionally. It should be easy but we often stick our own negative stuff into our love and then we begin to pick and choose who we love. This is where our prayers of confession come in. We return to the Lord and say, “Oopsie we forgot to love as You love. Help us love unconditionally again.” Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
Read through this scripture again and count how many times the word “love” appears.
Prayer: God of Love and Life, You sent a star to guide the Shepherds and pilgrims to Your Son, the Holy Child. We confess that we have not always followed the light of Your word. We confess that we have not searched for signs of Your love in the world. We confess that we sometimes only love those who are loveable. Forgive us O Lord. Renew us with this season where we read and remember the Birth of Your Holy Son. Help us to once again go forth like the Shepherds did in awe and worship and love so that the Good News of Christ was shared this day and forever. Amen.