Worship Companion – Christmas 2021

Merry Christmas!
 
This week the Worship Companion is full of resources to enrich you and your family this week as you worship, watch, and pray together.

“Journey to Bethlehem” – Mexico – Cut Paper – No Date

 
 
Christmas Scripture:
 
Here is the story of the birth and the shepherds from Luke:
 
Here is the story of the visitation of the Magi
 
Here is the beautiful and poetic theological story from John’s Gospel:
 
Christmas in Video:
 
New Line Cinemas has produced a full version, which I admit I’ve never seen. Yet, this 16 minutes pared down version would be great to watch on your own or with family.

 
Kids might be more interested in this version by our friends at Saddleback:
 

 
 
Christmas Prayers:
Consider any of these prayers to add to your prayer with family this year before a meal, before or after a Christmas reading, or around the tree or fireside together!
 

O Holy One,

heavenly angels spoke to earthly shepherds

and eternity entered time in the child of Bethlehem.

Through the telling of the Christmas story,

let our temporal lives be caught up in the eternal

in that same child,

that we might join shepherds and all the heavenly host

in praising the coming of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

 

OR

 

God of glory,

your splendor shines from a manger in Bethlehem,

where the Light of the world is humbly born

into the darkness of human night.

Open our eyes to Christ’s presence in the shadows of our world,

so that we, like him, may become beacons of your justice,

and defenders of all for whom there is no room. Amen.

 

OR

 

Light of life, you came in flesh,

born into human pain and joy,

and gave us power to be your children.

Grant us faith, O Christ, to see your presence among us,

so that all of creation may sing new songs of gladness

and walk in the way of peace. Amen.

 
 
 
Christmas Art:
This week I’ll simply include several paintings for you to ponder. The first two come from the 15th century while the last one is from the Jesus Mafa series I’ve featured before from the 1970s. Each of them tells the story with a different focus. I’ve included some notes this week that are supplied with the art where I find it.
 

“Annunciation to the Shepherds – C. 1410 A.D.

Notes included with the Painting above:
 
“This beautiful miniature painting combines so many iconographical aspects, that the viewer can easily follow the connection from the very conception of Christ to his final days in Jerusalem. In the left center of the painting, a fountain of pink marble appears. This rocky font may be a representation of the “Fountain of the Virgin,” the only water spring source in the countryside near Jerusalem. Its proximity made it a popular place for drawing water and watering sheep and goats. The artist conflates the countryside of Nazareth, six miles from Jerusalem, with the location of this spring. Jerusalem, the holy city, is therefore represented in the distance. According to tradition, Gabriel announced to Mary her carrying of the Christ child at this spring, hence the name, “Fountain of the Virgin.” “
 


Title: Nativity
Date: ca. 1480
Artist: Schongauer, Martin, active 15th century

 

The Birth of Jesus – Luke 2:1-20 – Jesus Mafa, Cameroon

 
Christmas Songs:
 
There are simply too many great songs to put into the worship companion at Christmas. let me suggest a playlist that should be ad-free on YouTube, or you can find the album on any streaming service. Christmas at Kings College – one of the finest recordings of beautiful hymns and carols you’ll find anywhere.
 

 
 
 
 

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