Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/24/2022: Faith practices -- Christmas Eve ritual

Today please be in prayer for

Hazard UMC
Ravenna UMC
Gateway District
Wilcox UMC
Gateway District
Dodge City/Hays districts superintendent
Dodge City/Hays districts administrative assistant

Oh Light: A Christmas Eve ritual

  • ​1 Votive Candle
  • Lighter or matches
  • 1 Candle OR glow stick OR battery-powered tea light per participant
Gather in a comfortable or meaningful spot in your home. Snuggle up with blankets and hot cocoa or a favorite Christmas treat. If possible, dim the lights. Place the votive candle somewhere everyone can see it. As the candle is being lit, read Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 (The Message):

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows— light! sunbursts of light! For a child has been born—for us! the gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going With fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.

Read selections from Luke 2: 1-16 (The Message):

So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.

As you sing "Silent Night, "pass the light from the votive candle to each participant, as they hold their own candle, glow stick, or battery-operated tea light. When everyone's light is on, hold them up and sing Silent Night one last time together. Take it in. The light of the world is here, with us, around us, and within each of us. Celebrate Jesus today!
-- "Christmas in a Box,"



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