At Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship, as the lights are turned out and candles are lit, we encounter the Word of God. A few years ago I put together this reading in two parts that merges together Genesis 1 and John 1.
Reader 1: In the beginning was the Word,
Reader 2: When God began to create the heavens and the earth
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
the earth was without shape or form and shadows covered the face of the deep while a spirit from God swept over the face of the waters.
The Word was with God in the beginning. Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being.
God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.
What came into being through him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines through the shadows, and the shadows do not overcome it.
And God saw that the light was good.
The true light, which shines on all people, was coming into the world. The light came to his own people, and his own people didn’t welcome him. But those who did welcome him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become God’s children, born not from blood or from human desire or passion, but born from God.
Then God said, ‘Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth.’
So God created humanity in God’s own image,
in the divine image God created them;
male and female God created them.
The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth
God saw everything he had made, and indeed it was supremely good.
From the fullness of the Word made flesh we have all received grace upon grace.
Note: We use the Common English Bible (CEB) in worship, and this is based on that translation with some reference to the NRSV as well. If can easily be adapted to other translations.
What creative and inspiring things are you doing in worship this Christmas? Connect with me and let’s learn from each other.
Are you looking for a place to worship this Christmas? If you are in The Woodlands or the Houston area, stop by Spirit of Joy! Lutheran – we would love to see you. Elsewhere in the country? Try this congregation locator to find a congregation near you.