December 25, 2014

Christmas Day

Psalm 2

Why do the nations rebel?
Why are the countries devising plots that will fail?
The kings of the earth form a united front;
the rulers collaborate
against the Lord and his anointed king.
They say, “Let’s tear off the shackles they’ve put on us!
Let’s free ourselves from their ropes!”
The one enthroned in heaven laughs in disgust;
the Lord taunts them.
Then he angrily speaks to them
and terrifies them in his rage, saying,
“I myself have installed my king
on Zion, my holy hill.”
The king says, “I will announce the Lord’s decree. He said to me:
‘You are my son! This very day I have become your father!
Ask me,
and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,
the ends of the earth as your personal property.
You will break them with an iron scepter;
you will smash them like a potter’s jar!’”
So now, you kings, do what is wise;
you rulers of the earth, submit to correction!
Serve the Lord in fear!
Repent in terror!
Give sincere homage!
Otherwise he will be angry,
and you will die because of your behavior,
when his anger quickly ignites.
How blessed are all who take shelter in him!

Psalm 85

For the music director; written by the Korahites, a psalm.

O Lord, you showed favor to your land;
you restored the well-being of Jacob.
You pardoned the wrongdoing of your people;
you forgave all their sin. (Selah)
You withdrew all your fury;
you turned back from your raging anger.
Restore us, O God our deliverer!
Do not be displeased with us!
Will you stay mad at us forever?
Will you remain angry throughout future generations?
Will you not revive us once more?
Then your people will rejoice in you!
O Lord, show us your loyal love!
Bestow on us your deliverance!
I will listen to what God the Lord says.
For he will make peace with his people, his faithful followers.
Yet they must not return to their foolish ways.
Certainly his loyal followers will soon experience his deliverance;
then his splendor will again appear in our land.
Loyal love and faithfulness meet;
deliverance and peace greet each other with a kiss.
Faithfulness grows from the ground,
and deliverance looks down from the sky.
Yes, the Lord will bestow his good blessings,
and our land will yield its crops.
Deliverance goes before him,
and prepares a pathway for him.

Psalm 110

A psalm of David.

Here is the Lord’s proclamation to my lord:
“Sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool!”
The Lord extends your dominion from Zion.
Rule in the midst of your enemies!
Your people willingly follow you when you go into battle.
On the holy hills at sunrise the dew of your youth belongs to you.
The Lord makes this promise on oath and will not revoke it:
“You are an eternal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.”
O sovereign Lord, at your right hand
he strikes down kings in the day he unleashes his anger.
He executes judgment against the nations;
he fills the valleys with corpses;
he shatters their heads over the vast battlefield.
From the stream along the road he drinks;
then he lifts up his head.

Psalm 132

A song of ascents.

O Lord, for David’s sake remember
all his strenuous effort,
and how he made a vow to the Lord,
and swore an oath to the powerful Ruler of Jacob.
He said, “I will not enter my own home,
or get into my bed.
I will not allow my eyes to sleep,
or my eyelids to slumber,
until I find a place for the Lord,
a fine dwelling place for the powerful Ruler of Jacob.”
Look, we heard about it in Ephrathah,
we found it in the territory of Jaar.
Let us go to his dwelling place!
Let us worship before his footstool!
Ascend, O Lord, to your resting place,
you and the ark of your strength!
May your priests be clothed with integrity!
May your loyal followers shout for joy!
For the sake of David, your servant,
do not reject your chosen king!
The Lord made a reliable promise to David;
he will not go back on his word.
He said, “I will place one of your descendants on your throne.
If your sons keep my covenant
and the rules I teach them,
their sons will also sit on your throne forever.”
Certainly the Lord has chosen Zion;
he decided to make it his home.
He said, “This will be my resting place forever;
I will live here, for I have chosen it.
I will abundantly supply what she needs;
I will give her poor all the food they need.
I will protect her priests,
and her godly people will shout exuberantly.
There I will make David strong;
I have determined that my chosen king’s dynasty will continue.
I will humiliate his enemies,
and his crown will shine.

Zechariah 2:10-13

“Sing out and be happy, Zion my daughter! For look, I have come; I will settle in your midst,” says the Lord. “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on the day of salvation, and they will also be my people. Indeed, I will settle in the midst of you all.” Then you will know that the Lord who rules over all has sent me to you. The Lord will take possession of Judah as his portion in the holy land and he will choose Jerusalem once again. Be silent in the Lord’s presence, all people everywhere, for he is being moved to action in his holy dwelling place.

1 John 4:7-16

God is Love

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him.

John 3:31-36

The one who comes from above is superior to all. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is superior to all. He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. The one who has accepted his testimony has confirmed clearly that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he does not give the Spirit sparingly. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things under his authority. 36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life. The one who rejects the Son will not see life, but God’s wrath remains on him.