Archive for December, 2016

Second Sunday of Christmas 2016 – John 1:10-11

Friday, December 30, 2016

John 1:10-11He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.  He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.

As this second Sunday of the Christmas season passes, we know that ahead of us are the seasons of Epiphany, Lent and Easter.  We begin to follow what is to become the very short yet amazingly influential life of Jesus.

Steadfast God, help us better understand the life and teachings of Jesus so that we can become the people you want us to be.  Amen.

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Second Sunday of Christmas 2016 – John 1:14

Thursday, December 29, 2016

John 1:14And 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.

God became one of us through his son Jesus.  No one understands the joy, the pain and the complexities of our individual lives more than God.  This is the awesome gift of Christmas.

Gracious God, help us accept that you know and understand our every need.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Christmas 2016 – Jeremiah 31:9

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Jeremiah 31:9They come home, weeping as they come, but I will comfort them and be their escort.  I will lead them to flowing streams; they shall not stumble, their path will be so smooth.  For I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my eldest son.  (New English Version)

This passage provided me with two images of God…one of God gently stroking the head of someone crying into his shoulder and one of God holding someone’s upper arm assisting them along a path.

Gracious God, following your example, help us be comforting presences to all of your people today and every day.  Amen.

Second Sunday after Christmas 2016 – Jeremiah 31:8

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

We are approaching the second Sunday after Christmas Day, and the lectionary offers us the following passages: Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 147:12-20; Ephesians 1:3-14 and John 1:(1-9), 10-18.  Alternative selections are from the Apocrypha and include 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, then shall return here.

God is promising the people of Israel and Judah that he “…will bring them back to the land that I gave to their ancestors…” (Jeremiah 30:3).  And not just the able bodied, but those who might be considered a burden to the others – the sick, the pregnant, the mothers with young children.

Prayer: Loving God, following your example, help us to better care for all of your people today and every day.  Amen.

The Week of Christmas 2016 – Isaiah 63:7

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The lectionary selections for the first Sunday after Christmas include: Isaiah 63:7-9; Psalm 148; Hebrews 2:10-18 and Matthew 2:13-23.

Isaiah 63:7I will recount the gracious deeds of the LORD, the praiseworthy acts of the LORD, because of all that the LORD has done for us, and the great favor to the house of Israel that he has shown them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.

As we approach the end of the calendar year, we approach the season of inventory – businesses take inventory to see what remains on their shelves, many of us take personal inventory to see how we might enter the new year on a different and better note.  We are reminded today that we should take inventory of all God has done for us, too.

Almighty God, thank you for your steadfast presence in our lives.  Continue to mold us into the people you want us to be.  Amen.

The Week of Christmas 2016 – John 1:1, 14a

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The third selection of Christmas Eve readings, Proper III, includes: Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12) and John 1:1-14.

John 1:1, 14aIn the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh and lived among us…

Jesus:

Homeless child.

Refugee.

Carpenter.

Teacher.

Healer.

…and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means,” God is with us.”  Matthew 1:23

Ever-present God, for every blessing you have bestowed on us, but especially for the miracle of Christmas, we offer our heartfelt thanks.  Amen.

First Sunday of Christmas 2016 – Luke 2:8-11

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The second selection of Christmas Eve readings, Proper II, includes: Isaiah 62:6-12; Psalm 97; Titus 3:4-7 and Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20.

Luke 2:8-11And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.

In the Gospel of Luke, shepherds were the first people to hear of the birth of Jesus.  While Jesus will grow into a man who is considered a shepherd of people, the image that moves me is that these shepherds were rather ordinary people to be the first to hear of the birth of the Messiah.

Gracious God, we are ordinary people.  Help us do extraordinary things in your name.  Amen.


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