Christmas Eve | Thursday 24 December 2020
Today is Thursday the 24 December, Christmas Eve.
One Hope Project perform a setting of 'Silent Night'. As you listen to this familiar Christmas carol, does anything new stir in you for the first time? A word? a phrase? a feeling?
Today’s reading is from the Second Book of Samuel.
2 Sam 7:1-5,8-12,14,16
Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.’ But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.
It's Christmas Eve! How are you own preparations for the big day going? Everything in hand, so that you can now sit back quietly? Or lots still to do before tomorrow morning? King David, at the start of this reading, tells God of his plans. For a moment bring your own immediate plans to God.
God’s response probably isn’t what David was expecting. Most of this passage doesn’t talk about what David will do, but about what God will do. Imagine God telling you his plans for you in the next few days. What might he say?
This year, Christmas isn’t going to be quite the same for many people…thwarted plans, being apart from loved ones, perhaps you’re a frontline worker, working harder than you’d ever hoped to work over Christmas. But God’s plans are not just for today and tomorrow. They extend far into the future. What sense do you have of God’s hopes for you in the coming weeks, months and years?
The image of “building a house” is central to this passage. As you listen again, reflect on what that means in the ways in which God deals with you.
How might David have wanted to respond to all that God promises here? How might you yourself want to respond?
Lord and Ruler
Root of Jesse
Key of David
King of the Nations
Come, Lord Jesus.