Liturgy: Christmas Eve Candle Lighting

READER ONE:
The prophet Isaiah said:

2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
    On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned.
You have made the nation great;
    you have increased its joy.
They rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest,
    as those who divide plunder rejoice.
As on the day of Midian, you’ve shattered the yoke that burdened them,
    the staff on their shoulders,
    and the rod of their oppressor.
Because every boot of the thundering warriors,
    and every garment rolled in blood
    will be burned, fuel for the fire.
A child is born to us, a son is given to us,
    and authority will be on his shoulders.
    He will be named
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be vast authority and endless peace
    for David’s throne and for his kingdom,
    establishing and sustaining it
    with justice and righteousness
    now and forever.

The zeal of the Lord of heavenly forces will do this.

READER TWO:
We have struggled in the darkness for so long it feels as if we have forgotten what the light is like. And yet, if we turn our eyes to the heavens we will see it.

READER ONE:
Soldiers on the deadliest battlefields, look up.
Farmers laboring against a barren land, look up.
Families torn apart by addiction, look up.
Refugees on the run, look up.
Doctor struggling to save a victim of violence, look up.
Mother mourning the loss of a child, look up.
Prisoner pacing the floor of a cell, look up.
Look up to the heavens.
Let the light shine on you.

READER TWO:
On this Christmas Eve night, as our hearts leap for joy, as our minds race with anticipation, we light the Christ Candle. We have journeyed through the darkness, but the darkness cannot and will not snuff out the light of grace and hope. 

(LIGHT WHITE CANDLE)

READER ONE:
Let us pray: Almighty God, we’ve gathered together, huddled against the cold and the dark. We are a people brimming with excitement and expectation. Let the light of your precious Child enter our hearts, our homes, our minds, and our lives. Amen.

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