Interactive Advent/Christmas Readings –
These are two congregational interactive readings, designed to involve the congregation in scripture. These readings can fit services through the Christmas, one covering the annunciation to Mary in Luke 1:26-38, and the other John’s introduction to his gospel, in John 1:1-18. We did these readings for our carol service and we were quite surprised how involved people got. Instead of a passive listening experience it was heartening to hear Christians engaging and interacting with scripture. We found it worked effectively with the music group leading the various sections as required.
Luke 1:26-38 The Annunciation to Mary –
Reader: In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said,
MEN: “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you”
Reader: But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her,
WOMEN: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
ALL: and you will name him Jesus.
WOMEN: He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David.
MEN: He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Reader: Mary said to the angel,
WOMEN: “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
Reader: The angel said to her
MEN: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
WOMEN: and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
MEN: therefore the child to be born will be holy;
WOMEN: he will be called Son of God.
Reader: And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.
ALL: For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Reader: Then Mary said,
ALL: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
Reader: Then the angel departed from her.
Reading John 1:1-18 The Word –
Reader 1: In the beginning was
Reader 2: the Word, and the Word was
Reader 3: with God,
Readers1, 2 & 3: and the Word was God.
R1: He was in the beginning
R3: with God.
R1: All things came into being
Rs1,2&3: All things came into being
ALL: All things came into being
R2: through him,
R1: and without him not one thing came into being.
Rs1,2&3: without him not one thing came into being.
ALL : without him not one thing came into being.
R3: What has come into being in him was life,
ALL: Life, and the life was the light of all people.
Rs1,2&3: The light shines
ALL: in the darkness, the darkness, and the darkness, the darkness
R2: did not overcome it.
R1: The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
ALL: True light into the world.
R3: He was in the world, and the world came into being through him;
ALL: yet the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.
R3: But to all who received him, who believed in his name,
ALL: he gave power to become children of God,
R1: who were born,
R2: not of blood
R3: or of the will of the flesh
R2: or of the will of man,
ALL: but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us,
and we have seen his glory,
R3: the glory as of a father’s only son,
ALL: full of grace and truth.