Posts Tagged 'Christmas'

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.

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.

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.

The Week of Christmas 2016 – Luke 2:6-7

Monday, December 19, 2016

This week leading to Christmas Sunday there are an abundance of scriptures for our consideration.  There are several collections of readings for Christmas Eve.  The first collection, called Proper I, includes: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14 and Luke 2:1-14, (15-20).

Luke 2:6-7 – While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  And she gave birth to her first born son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

On the night he was born, Jesus was homeless.  God’s son coming into this world in this unlikely state is a powerful image for me.  You will pass by a number of unlikely people today.  Embrace the reality that God can use any of them, any of us.

Loving God, help us to see you in each person we see today.  Amen.

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.


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