Beloved in Christ, as we await the great festival of Christmas,
let us prepare ourselves so that we may be shown its true meaning.
Let us hear, in lessons from Holy Scripture,
how the prophets of Israel foretold
that God would visit and redeem the waiting people.
Let us rejoice, in our carols and hymns,
that the good purpose of God is being mightily fulfilled.
Let us celebrate the promise that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
will bring all peoples and all things
into the glory of God’s eternal kingdom.
The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk,
the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear,
the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
But first, let us pray for the world that God so loves,
for those who have not heard the good news of God,
or who do not believe it;
for those who walk in darkness and the shadow of death;
and for the Church in this place and everywhere,
that it may be freed from all evil and fear,
and may in pure joy lift up the light of the love of God.
(from the United Methodist Book of Worship)
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