Today is the second day of the traditional “12 Days of Christmas” during which we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. We refer to this day as ‘Boxing Day’ because on this day, gifts were placed into festive boxes and distributed to the poor and those in need. On this Boxing Day afternoon, our readings continue with the great Messianic prophecies of Isaiah as we continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
CALL TO WORSHIP
God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
A psalm of David.
The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
until I humble your enemies,
making them a footstool under your feet.”
The Lord will extend your powerful kingdom from Jerusalem;
you will rule over your enemies.
When you go to war,
your people will serve you willingly.
You are arrayed in holy garments,
and your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew.
The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow:
“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you.
He will strike down many kings when his anger erupts.
He will punish the nations
and fill their lands with corpses;
he will shatter heads over the whole earth.
But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way.
He will be victorious.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)
OLD TESTAMENT READING
The Lord’s Message of Freedom
The Lord God has put his Spirit in me,
because the Lord has appointed me to tell the good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort those whose hearts are broken,
to tell the captives they are free,
and to tell the prisoners they are released.
He has sent me to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness
and the time when our God will punish evil people.
He has sent me to comfort all those who are sad
and to help the sorrowing people of Jerusalem.
I will give them a crown to replace their ashes,
and the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow,
and clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness.
Then they will be called Trees of Goodness,
trees planted by the Lord to show his greatness.
They will rebuild the old ruins
and restore the places destroyed long ago.
They will repair the ruined cities
that were destroyed for so long.
My people, foreigners will come to tend your sheep.
People from other countries will tend your fields and vineyards.
You will be called priests of the Lord;
you will be named the servants of our God.
You will have riches from all the nations on earth,
and you will take pride in them.
Instead of being ashamed, my people will receive twice as much wealth.
Instead of being disgraced, they will be happy because of what they receive.
They will receive a double share of the land,
so their happiness will continue forever.
“I, the Lord, love justice.
I hate stealing and everything that is wrong.
I will be fair and give my people what they should have,
and I will make an agreement with them that will continue forever.
Everyone in all nations will know the children of my people,
and their children will be known among the nations.
Anyone who sees them will know
that they are people the Lord has blessed.”
The Lord makes me very happy;
all that I am rejoices in my God.
He has covered me with clothes of salvation
and wrapped me with a coat of goodness,
like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding,
like a bride dressed in jewels.
The earth causes plants to grow,
and a garden causes the seeds planted in it to grow.
In the same way the Lord God will make goodness and praise
come from all the nations.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Pause for Reflection…
(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)
Lord Jesus we continue to praise you for your goodness to us,
For coming to save us, just as you declared,
And keeping our souls safe, just as you promised. Amen
Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.
May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.
May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.
Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen
Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved
All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.