Birth and Death Mash-Up
Psalm 22 (selected verses) and the Birth Account (from Luke 2:1-20)
The following is a combination of the anguish of death and separation from God stated in Psalm 22 and the birth account from Luke 2. My thought was to bring together Jesus’ birth and the reason behind his coming to earth in one reading.
P: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
C: In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
P: O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent.
C: And everyone went to his own town to register.
P: But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.
C: So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
P: All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
C: He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
P: “He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
C: While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
P: Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
C: She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
P: Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
C: And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
P: Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.
C: An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
P: I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
C: But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
P: My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
C: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
P: Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
C: Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
P: I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
C: When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
P: They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
C: So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
P: But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
C: When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
P: Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
C: But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
P: Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
C: The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
P: I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society