1st Day of Christmas
Reading: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favors!" Read Luke 2:8-20
Collect: Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Pray: Practice 5 minutes of Centering Prayer or choose another prayer practice.
Gratitude Journal: Write 3 things for which you are grateful.
Take a picture of a “glory sighting”. Share it with someone.
Go Christmas Caroling in your neighborhood
Watch a Christmas movie.
Listen to Joelle Hochstedler's Christmas Song: Do Not Be Afraid on repeat.
Make a Partridge In A Pear Tree and post it with #12TideCbus
Ancient Text Reflection:
A Sermon by Saint Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome (AD 390- 461) Sermo 1 in Nativitate Domini
Dearly beloved, today our Savior is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness. No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no one free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saints rejoice as they see the palm of victory at hand. Let sinners be glad as they receive the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagans take courage as they are summoned to life. In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown humankind. And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to men of good will as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvelous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men and women? Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh. Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom. Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.
The Manger Is Filled With His Splendor – St. Ephrem the Syrian (d. 373)
"He who measures the heavens with the span of His hand
Lies in a manger a span's breadth;
He who's cupped hands contain the sea
Is born in a cave;
His glory fills the heavens
And the manger is filled with His splendor.
Moses wished to see His glory
But was unable to see Him as he wished;
Let us come and see Him today
As He lies in the manger in swaddling clothes.
Formerly there was none who dared to see God and still live,
But today all who have seen Him
Are saved from the second death."