Friday, December 24, 2021
Luke 1:46b-55; Micah 6:6-8; Hebrews 10:5-10
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible
Introduction & Summary
In our reading in Micah, Micah makes a proclamation from God concerning His people Israel. He asks them what he has done and calls for them to respond. He reminds them of His faithfulness, protecting them from harm from such people as Balak and Balaam. Micah gives the response of the people to God. Micah then responds, giving a direct answer to their questions. He addresses the issues in which they are seemingly so ignorant and foolish to perceive as truths that some kind of external ritual or sacrifice is good enough to satisfy God. Micah states that God has already shown them what He expects of them and that they should not have asked the question in the first place.
In our epistle reading, although Jesus’ learned obedience from the things he suffered,’ which implies that he grew in his understanding of the divine will, the lesson for today wants us to be sure that even at the moment of the incarnation, Jesus was thoroughly committed to carrying it out.
In our verse of the day, the shepherds living out in the fields had just received an angelic visit and made haste to verify with sight what their ears had heard.
Today’s Verse of the Day:
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.These shepherds are good examples for us to imitate today. They received by faith the message God sent them and then responded with immediate obedience. After finding the Baby, they reported the good news to others, “glorifying and praising God” (2:20). They took the place of the angels (vv. 13, 14)! Then they humbly returned to their duties, new men going back to the same old job.
For some reason, shepherds were not permitted to testify in court, but God used some humble shepherds to be the first human witnesses that prophecy had been fulfilled and the Messiah had been born. As a result, “all those who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them” (v. 18).
The angels have never experienced the grace of God, so they can’t bear witness as we can. Telling others about the Savior is our solemn obligation as well as our great privilege. We who are believers must be faithful!
Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Gospels
My Soul Gives Glory to God
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
From the Prophetic Books of Minor Prophets
Adore God with Justice Kindness Humility
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
From the Epistles
I have Come to do your Will
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’”
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2022, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2021 was Year B. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org. The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.