Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has
clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom
decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the
earth brings forth its shoots,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations.
For Zion's sake
I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest,
vindication shines out like the dawn,
and her salvation like a burning torch.
shall see your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall
be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.
You shall be a
crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
Psalm 147 or 147:13-21
How good it is to sing praises to our God! *
how pleasant it is to honor him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; *
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the
and binds up their wounds.
He counts the
number of the stars *
and calls them all by their names.
our Lord and mighty in power; *
there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly, *
but casts the wicked to the ground.
the Lord with thanksgiving; *
make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the
heavens with clouds *
and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass
to grow upon the mountains *
and green plants to serve mankind.
food for flocks and herds *
and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not
impressed by the might of a horse; *
he has no pleasure in the strength of a man;
the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him, *
in those who await his gracious favor.
the Lord, O Jerusalem; *
praise your God, O Zion;
For he has
strengthened the bars of your gates; *
he has blessed your children within you.
established peace on your borders; *
he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out
his command to the earth, *
and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow
like wool; *
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his
hail like bread crumbs; *
who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth
his word and melts them; *
he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.
He declares his
word to Jacob, *
his statutes and his judgments to Israel.
He has not done
so to any other nation; *
to them he has not revealed his judgments.
The New Testament
Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7
Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'") From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.