Love Unwrapped: A Christmas Message of Hope, Justice, and Joy
Love Unwrapped: A Christmas Message of Hope, Justice, and Joy

Love Unwrapped: A Christmas Message of Hope, Justice, and Joy

Merry Christmas,

Welcome to your online Christmas worship from St. Mark’s for Christmas 2023. 

I am so filled with joy to be celebrating Christmas with you. Because Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year, it makes this Sunday a day full of liturgical services. This morning at the special time of 10am we will have a service to mark the 4th Sunday of Advent and then tonight at 4pm, 7pm, and 10:30pm we will hold Christmas Eve services. Tomorrow, Christmas Day, there will be at 10am service with Canon Bob Schroeder celebrating. See our Christmas Season service times here.

This video today is my Christmas message for you, so if you are planning to attend Christmas Eve services in person and don’t want to hear my message twice, you will want to skip this weeks video. 

Today’s Opening Sentence

I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day a Saviour, Christ the Lord. – Luke 2.10–11

Today’s Reading – Luke 2:1-20

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.1

Your Online Message and Prayers

Click on the above image to view our online worship on YouTube.

Reflection questions for the week: 

  • How can you intentionally infuse love into your interactions with others today, embodying the true currency of God’s community?
  • In what ways can you contribute to a more peaceful and just world, even in small gestures or actions, as a response to the brokenness in today’s systems?
  • Consider a moment from your day where you can intentionally create a space for God’s presence. How might this moment impact your outlook and interactions?
  • Reflect on how you can share the freely given love you’ve received with others. What specific actions can you take to multiply joy and goodness in your community?

This week music is again provided by Ryan Van Dijk, our Music Director. Thank you to Ryan for his ministry of music!

A continued reminder that if you are at all uncomfortable being in-person for worship, or if you are not feeling well, please join us here online.

Thank you again for joining with your parish family in our online worship today.

Find out how you can support our ministry and good work in the community here.

God Bless you and have a blessed week. Be well!


The Rev’d Canon Rob Park

  1. Scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.