Archive for December, 2015

New Year’s Eve 2015 – Ephesians 1:11-12

December 31, 2015

Ephesians 1:11-12In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.

We have made it through another year.  As 2015 begins to fade in our rear view mirrors, I hope all of you will have a joyous and prosperous 2016.

Gracious, loving and everlasting God, thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed on us in 2015.  As we approach the dawn of 2016:

  • Give us ears to hear your voice in our lives,
  • Give us eyes to see the opportunities to serve others in your name, and
  • Give us strong hands and feet to do that work you place before us.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Christmas 2016 – John 1:1-2, 14

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

John 1:1-2, 14In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with 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.

Can you imagine infinity?  In art class, I learned to draw a road that seemed to go on forever, getting smaller and smaller until it vanished into the page.  In physics class, I held mirrors in front of each other and saw the infinite reflections.  Take time today to consider God’s infinite presence in our lives.

God of our yesterdays and tomorrows, help us to grasp your ever-active, creative presence in our world and in our lives.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Christmas 2016 – Jeremiah 31:8

Monday, December 28, 2015

We are approaching the second Sunday of the Christmas season as well as the start of 2016.  The passages for our consideration this week include: Jeremiah 31:7-14, Psalm 147:12-20, Ephesians 1:3-14, and John 1:(1-9), 10-18.  There are also selections from the Apocrypha: Sirach 24:1-12, and Wisdom of Solomon 10:15-21.

Jeremiah 31:8See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here.

Jeremiah describes the new covenant between God and the Israelites when God returns the “remnant of Israel” from the Babylonian Captivity.  God’s “great company” will include both those with chronic illnesses who are possibly burdens and those youngest who hold much promise for the future of the kingdom.

Almighty God, help us to remember that the circle you draw is wide and includes all of your children.  Amen.

Christmas Day and the First Sunday of Christmas – Isaiah 9:6-7

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Isaiah 9:6-7For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. 

This is one of my favorite Christmas passages, and it was included in Handel’s Messiah.  No one sings it better than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Wonderful Counselor, you placed the hope for the world into a homeless child born in a manger.  Help us to believe in this unimaginable potential in every child we see this season.  Amen.

Christmas and the First Sunday of Christmas 2015 – 1 Samuel 2:18, 26

Monday, December 21, 2015

The lectionary offers selections for both Christmas and the first Sunday after Christmas.  For me, the theme of both sets of scriptures focuses on children and their significance in God’s plan.  It is so easy to underestimate children and adolescents, but time and time again, God chooses children early in their lives.  For Christmas, the passages include:  Isaiah 9:2-7, Psalm 96, Titus 2:11-14, and Luke 2:1-14, (15-20).  For Sunday, the selections include:  1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26, Psalm 148, Colossians 3:12-17, and Luke 2:41-52.

1 Samuel 2:18, 26Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy wearing a linen ephod… Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and with the people.

Samuel was dedicated to the Lord by his parents at an early age.  It is obvious by this passage that Samuel was embracing his calling.

Creator God, help us to see the children around as the bundles of potential that you know they are.  Amen.

Fourth Sunday of Advent 2015 – Micah 5:4-5

Friday, December 18, 2015 

Micah 5:4-5 – And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.  And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.

We are nearing the end of this season of anticipation when we are asked to imagine God’s incarnate presence among us.  In these confusing and complicated times when many of God’s children do not feel safe, we are reminded in these verses that ultimately we are promised security and peace.

God of all of us, come dwell among us.  Bring us the peace that comes through your palpable presence in our lives.  Amen.

Fourth Sunday of Advent 2015 – Luke 1:46-48

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Luke 1:46-48And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

Mary was likely a young teenager according to scholars.  For each adolescent you see today, consider the plans God has for that very child, and offer a prayer that he or she will have a safe life journey.

Loving God, help us to nurture the faith of the lives of the children who surround us.  Amen.

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December 2015
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