A Story to Embody: December 23, 2012

Micah 5:2-4
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are too small to be among the army groups from Judah,
from you will come one who will rule Israel for me.
He comes from very old times,
from days long ago.”

3 The Lord will give up his people
until the one who is having a baby gives birth;
then the rest of his relatives will return
to the people of Israel.
4 At that time the ruler of Israel will stand
and take care of his people
with the Lord’s strength
and with the power of the name of the Lord his God.
The Israelites will live in safety,
because his greatness will reach all over the earth.
5 He will bring peace.

Psalm 80:1-7
Shepherd of Israel, listen to us.
You lead the people of Joseph like a flock.
You sit on your throne between the gold creatures with wings.
Show your greatness 2 to the people of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.
Use your strength,
and come to save us.

3 God, take us back.
Show us your kindness so we can be saved.

4 Lord God All-Powerful,
how long will you be angry
at the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed your people with tears;
you have made them drink many tears.
6 You made those around us fight over us,
and our enemies make fun of us.

7 God All-Powerful, take us back.
Show us your kindness so we can be saved.

Hebrews 10:5-10
So when Christ came into the world, he said:
"You do not want sacrifices and offerings,
but you have prepared a body for me.
6 You do not ask for burnt offerings
and offerings to take away sins.
7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come.
It is written about me in the book.
God, I have come to do what you want.’” Psalm 40:6–8

8 In this Scripture he first said, “You do not want sacrifices and offerings. You do not ask for burnt offerings and offerings to take away sins.” (These are all sacrifices that the law commands.) 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do what you want.” God ends the first system of sacrifices so he can set up the new system. 10 And because of this, we are made holy through the sacrifice Christ made in his body once and for all time.

Luke 1:39-45
39 Mary got up and went quickly to a town in the hills of Judea. 40 She came to Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the unborn baby inside her jumped, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 She cried out in a loud voice, “God has blessed you more than any other woman, and he has blessed the baby to which you will give birth. 43 Why has this good thing happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 When I heard your voice, the baby inside me jumped with joy. 45 You are blessed because you believed that what the Lord said to you would really happen.”
46 Then Mary said,

“My soul praises the Lord;
47 my heart rejoices in God my Savior,
48 because he has shown his concern for his humble servant girl.
From now on, all people will say that I am blessed,
49 because the Powerful One has done great things for me.
His name is holy.
50 God will show his mercy forever and ever
to those who worship and serve him.
51 He has done mighty deeds by his power.
He has scattered the people who are proud
and think great things about themselves.

52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
and raised up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with nothing.
54 He has helped his servant, the people of Israel,
remembering to show them mercy
55 as he promised to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his children forever.”

In Christ,

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