Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, December 30, 2018 - First Sunday after Christmas Day

The Boy Jesus in the Temple
Luke 2:41-52

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, December 30, 2018 - First Sunday after Christmas Day
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

A lot has happened in the last week. Some of us have spent time traveling, maybe to the places that we grew up in to visit family and old friends. Gifts and greetings have been exchanged, carols have been sung to remind us of the birth of the Christ child. Now many are back at work and a sense of 'normality' is beginning to be felt again in our lives.

In our gospel reading we find a different Jesus to the one we left on Christmas morning. He has survived Herod's hunt for the firstborn in Bethlehem and has been quietly getting on with the business of growing up in and around the Carpenter's shop in Nazareth.

Father God, sometimes we forget that the Christmas story did not end in the stable but continued as Jesus grew into a man, almost unnoticed by the world apart from his appearance at the temple, his spiritual home on earth. As we close the pages of one year and begin the next chapter of our lives may we grow in faith, in wisdom and closer to you each and every day, to your praise and glory.  Amen.

The Collect (from Book of Common Prayers)
Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness
Trusting God's promise of forgiveness, let us confess our sins against God and one another.

Most merciful God, We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have failed to do. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry, and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Words of Reassurance
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world.

The Lessons

First Reading
1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
The Child Samuel at Shiloh
2:18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the Lord”; and then they would return to their home. [...] 26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and with the people.

Psalm 148
Praise for God’s Universal Glory
1  Praise the Lord!
   Praise the Lord from the heavens;
     praise him in the heights!
2  Praise him, all his angels;
     praise him, all his host!

3  Praise him, sun and moon;
     praise him, all you shining stars!
4  Praise him, you highest heavens,
     and you waters above the heavens!

5  Let them praise the name of the Lord,
     for he commanded and they were created.
6  He established them forever and ever;
     he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

7  Praise the Lord from the earth,
     you sea monsters and all deeps,
8  fire and hail, snow and frost,
     stormy wind fulfilling his command!

9  Mountains and all hills,
     fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
     creeping things and flying birds!

11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
     princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike,
     old and young together!

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
     for his name alone is exalted;
     his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
     praise for all his faithful,
     for the people of Israel who are close to him.
   Praise the Lord!

Second Reading
Colossians 3:12-17
3:12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The Gospel
Luke 2:41-52
The Boy Jesus in the Temple
2:41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43 When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49 He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Closing Prayer
As we take our worship, praise and prayer from this place and into our daily lives, may our lives be sustained through the love of our Heavenly Father. May we feel the presence of our Savior walking beside us, and know the power of the Spirit in both our actions and our words. Amen.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
After three days they found him (Jesus) in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

The Morning Prayer for SUNDAY, December 30, 2018 - First Sunday after Christmas Day

Sunday morning prayer

My loving God, I thank You for bringing me safely to another day of worship. How I desire to praise You with a pure heart and right spirit! To that end, I again ask Your forgiveness for all my sins and renewing of my faith. As I speak to You today, fill my heart with true praise and thankfulness for all You have done for me. Lead me to appreciate more fully the blessings of worshiping with my fellow Christians. Thank You for the opportunity to pray and study Your Word with other believers. Make me a faithful witness in my congregation and my family so that others will see me leaning only on You, who saved me in Jesus Christ.

Lord, make us a refuge to the poor. Help us prepare a feast for the hungry. Teach us to wipe away the tears of those who mourn, even as you shelter us, feed us, and wipe away our tears.

Lord on this special day, I run into Your loving arms. May Sunday be a celebration, filled with thankfulness, where I connect with the presence of Heaven, seek Your beauty and goodness, and cherish special family time together. Come fill my heart afresh with Your love. May it overflow with Heaven's bounty, moving through this rest day and into the week ahead.

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, December 30, 2018 - First Sunday after Christmas Day

John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Read all of John 16

Listen to John 16

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Hagamos todo lo bueno

Hagamos todo lo bueno

Dios es el que me ciñe de fuerza, y quien despeja mi camino; Quien hace mis pies como de ciervas, y me hace estar firme sobre mis alturas.

Todo lo negativo que pudo ocurrir este año no debe marcar tu nuevo año.

Hace algún tiempo, como lo dije al comienzo de este devocional, hacía por estos días una agenda de peticiones y se las presentaba a Dios con una oración el 31 de Diciembre a la medianoche. Era como colocar un montón de sueños y anhelos en la presencia de Dios y confiar que Él me los cumpliría uno a uno.

Sin embargo, hay cosas que ya Dios tiene programadas para cada uno de nosotros y, tarde o temprano, se cumplirán. Así que no te encierres solo en tus deseos, sino deja varios puntos en blanco para que Él mismo sea el que los llene. Déjate sorprender por Dios. ¡No te vas a arrepentir!

Entra a un nuevo año con tu mente y corazón en sintonía con el Señor. Ah, y otra cosa, recuerda que Él siempre desea lo mejor para ti.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Todo lo negativo que pudo ocurrir este año no debe marcar tu nuevo año.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - GIVEN WHAT TO SAY


But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

It was early in the morning the day after Christmas. It was cold. Mehdi Forootan sat in the back seat of an undercover police car in front of his house in Tehran, Iran. An officer pointed a camcorder at him. “Do you know why you were arrested?” the officer asked him. “No,” Forootan replied.

The officer turned off the camera and looked Forootan in the eyes. “I can beat you until blood is coming out of your mouth and every part of you. The next time I turn on the camera, you tell me why we are taking you,” the officer said and turned the camera back on.

Forootan spoke of his faith in Christ, and he spent the next 105 days in Iran’s harshest prison. On Dec. 26, 2010, authorities had arrested Forootan in a wave of persecution against Iran’s underground church. More than three months later, he was one of a few who had not been released.

During one interrogation, an officer turned on a camcorder and pointed it toward him, demanding that Forootan tell him about his “crime.” Forootan began to tell him how he had struggled with substance abuse as a teenager, “and how when I was in university I found Jesus and He saved me, and I have been free ever since. But he became angry and turned off the camera. He said, ‘I asked you to tell about your crime, not evangelize us.’”

After months of trying to get him to write statements confessing a crime, authorities inexplicably released him. Forootan said his first month out of prison was one of the worst of his life. He couldn’t speak to anyone of his prison experience for fear that authorities were watching and would re-arrest him. His parents had given the deed of their house to authorities as bail.

He and his fiancée decided it was best for him to leave Iran and go to Turkey as a refugee. For Forootan, this meant an illegal escape through the mountains, because authorities had confiscated his passport.

“I came out of Iran with 70 Afghanis,” Forootan said. “I went to the mountains and walked in the mountains for eight hours, and after eight hours I came to Turkey…That was really hard, because I really love Iran, and I’m really sad about this land. Maybe I can’t see my country again.”

Many who follow Jesus in other lands make great sacrifices for the sake of the gospel. Despite harsh treatment—even prison with interrogations—they still love their home country. But during those interrogations, the Holy Spirit gives the right words to be spoken.

RESPONSE: Today I will rest in the Lord realizing that when pressures come, He is with me and His Spirit will give me the right words to speak.

PRAYER: Pray for those who like Forootan above are forced to leave the home land they love because of their witness to the gospel of Christ.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

The Twelve Days of Christmas - The Sixth Day

The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Sixth Day

The 12 days of Christmas are the 12 days that separate Christmas Day on December 25 and ends on January 5, with the next day being Epiphany, which is celebrated January 6. Depending on the church, January 6 may mark Christ’s baptism (in the Catholic tradition), or it may mark the day that the wise men (or the Magi) visited Jesus with their gifts.

The Day of Epiphany is when the church celebrates the revelation of Christ as the light of the world and recalls the journey of the Magi. Magi means wise men.

From 1558 until 1829 Roman Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. During that era someone wrote ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas‘ as a kind of secret catechism that could be sung in public without risk of persecution. The song has two levels of interpretation: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the church. Each element in the carol is a code word for a religious reality.

Some beliefs believe that the day after Christmas started the 12 Days of Christmas. You also hear some people think its the 12 days that lead up to Christmas. But reality, it starts on December 25, that is the first day.

The Sixth Day of Christmas

The carol says On the On The Sixth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me...

Six Geese A-Laying

According to catechism hidden meaning it means …

The six days of Creation. God created the World in 6 days. He rested on the 7th.

LHM Daily Devotions - ONE WISH


Dec. 30, 2018

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
~ Luke 2:25-26 (ESV)

Simeon loved the Lord, and he had one wish, which God knew about: he wanted to see God's Messiah come before he died. The Holy Spirit promised him he would.

How exciting that must have been! Simeon would see Jesus, God in the flesh, guaranteed. He must have wondered every day, "Is today the day I'll see Him?" And every night he knew he'd wake up in the morning, because God hadn't kept His promise yet; and God always keeps His promises. Jesus would come before his death.

And then came the glorious day when he went to the temple at the impulse of the Holy Spirit and saw a poor young couple with a newborn in their arms. That was the One! He took up Jesus in his arms and praised God. Simeon's life wish was fulfilled. Now he could die, go home to the Lord, in peace.

This is true for us, too, isn't it? We too have seen God's Christ—not with the eyes of the body, but with the eyes of faith. God's Holy Spirit has revealed Him to us. We have seen Him in the Bible. We have eaten and drunk His body and blood at Communion. For us too, it is "Jesus before death." We don't have to wait. We have Him now.

Jesus promised His disciples, "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). We will not go through death alone. The One who has already been through death and back again, this One, Jesus, will be our guide. We will not stay in death, either; Jesus, our risen Savior, promises to raise us from the dead as well.

Christ before death; that's the right order. And that is the way God has given Jesus to us as well.

THE PRAYER: Father, thank You that You have given us Your Son now, in this life, so we don't need to be afraid of death. Amen.

  • What is on your "bucket list" of things to do before your death?
  • Are you afraid of dying? Why or why not?
  • How do you find strength and comfort when you think about death? Be as specific as you can.

Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
What is on your "bucket list" of things to do before your death?

Devocional del CPTLN de 30 de Diciembre de 2018 - Un deseo


Un deseo

30 de Diciembre de 2018

En Jerusalén vivía un hombre justo y piadoso, llamado Simeón, que esperaba la salvación de Israel. El Espíritu Santo reposaba en él y le había revelado que no moriría antes de que viera al Ungido del Señor.
~ Lucas 2:25-26 (RVC)

Simeón amaba al Señor. Él sabía que el Mesías iba a venir y tenía un deseo: quería ver al Mesías de Dios antes de morir. Dios lo sabía, y el Espíritu Santo le prometió que así sería.

¡Qué emocionante! Simeón tenía garantizado que vería a Jesús. Debió haberlo esperado todos los días, preguntándose: "¿Será hoy el día en que lo veré?". Y al acostarse cada noche sabía que se despertaría por la mañana, porque Dios aún no había cumplido su promesa... y Dios siempre cumple sus promesas. Sí, Jesús vendría antes de su muerte.

Y así llegó el día glorioso cuando, movido por el Espíritu Santo, fue al templo y vio a una pareja pobre joven con un recién nacido en sus brazos. ¡Ése era! Tomó a Jesús en sus brazos y alabó a Dios. Su deseo se había cumplido. Ahora podía morir e ir en paz a la casa del Señor.

Esto también es cierto para nosotros. Nosotros también hemos visto al Cristo de Dios, no con los ojos del cuerpo sino con los de la fe. El Espíritu Santo de Dios nos lo ha revelado. Lo hemos encontrado en la Biblia y hemos comido y bebido su cuerpo y sangre en la Comunión. No tenemos que esperar nada. Ya lo tenemos ahora.

Jesús prometió a sus discípulos: "... yo estaré con ustedes todos los días, hasta el fin del mundo" (Mateo 28:20). No pasaremos solos por la muerte. Jesús, aquel que ya ha pasado y vuelto de la muerte, será nuestro guía. Ni tampoco nos quedaremos en la muerte pues Jesús, nuestro Salvador resucitado, también promete resucitarnos de los muertos.

ORACIÓN: Padre, gracias porque al habernos dado a tu Hijo en esta vida, ya no debemos temer a la muerte. Amén.

  • ¿Tienes miedo de morir? ¿Por qué sí o por qué no?
  • ¿Dónde encuentras fuerza y consuelo cuando piensas en la muerte?

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Tienes miedo de morir? ¿Por qué sí o por qué no?

Unser Täglich Brot - Alles neu

Alles neu

Lesung: Offenbarung 21,1-7 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Sacharja 13-14; Offenbarung 21

Darum: Ist jemand in Christus, so ist er eine neue Kreatur; das Alte ist vergangen, siehe, Neues ist geworden. 2 Korinther 5,17

Schrottplätze faszinieren mich. Ich arbeite gerne an Autos, daher fahre ich häufig zu einem Schrottplatz in unserer Nähe. Er ist ein einsamer Ort, wo der Wind durch entsorgte Autowracks fegt, die einst für jemanden den wertvollsten Besitz darstellten. Einige waren wirklich nur noch Wracks, einige waren abgenutzt und andere haben lediglich ihre Nutzungsdauer überschritten. Wenn ich durch die Reihen gehe, weckt manchmal ein Wagen meine Aufmerksamkeit und ich frage mich, was dieser Wagen wohl für Abenteuer in seinem „Leben“ durchlebte. Wie eine Tür zur Vergangenheit, haben alle eine Geschichte zu erzählen — über Menschen, die das neueste Modell haben wollten und dem unausweichlichen Lauf der Zeit.

Aber besonders freue ich mich daran, neues Leben für ein altes Teil zu finden. Wann immer ich ein entsorgtes Teil nehmen und ihm Leben in einem restaurierten Wagen schenken kann, fühlt es sich wie ein kleiner Sieg gegen Zeit und Verfall an.

Manchmal muss ich dann an Jesu Worte am Ende der Bibel denken: „Ich mache alles neu!“ (Offenbarung 21,5). Diese Worte beziehen sich auf Gottes Erneuerung der Schöpfung und bezieht die Gläubigen ein. Diejenigen, die Jesus bereits angenommen haben sind eine „neue Kreatur“ in ihm (2. Korinther 5,17).

Eines Tages werden wir in das Versprechen des ewigen Lebens mit ihm eingehen (Johannes 14,3). Alter und Krankheit werden nicht mehr ihren Tribut fordern, und wir werden das Abenteuer des ewigen Lebens weiterleben. Was für Geschichten haben wir wohl zu erzählenGeschichten über die erlösende Liebe und unendliche Treue unseres Retters.

Das Ende eines Jahres und der Beginn eines neuen Jahres bietet die Möglichkeit für einen Neuanfang. Was wird Gott wohl in deinem Leben neu machen?

© 2018 Unser Täglich Brot
Ich arbeite gerne an Autos, daher fahre ich häufig zu einem Schrottplatz in unserer Nähe.