Posted by: Pauline | December 25, 2016

Scriptures for Sunday, January 1

12/17/2016 Note: Instead of the Scriptures listed here, Sunday’s Scriptures will be those from December 18, when church was cancelled. Scroll down for those Scriptures.

Luke 2:1-38

The first half of this passage is very well-known, telling the familiar story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem and the visit of the shepherds. Many people are not nearly as familiar with the story that follows, when Jesus was presented at the temple, witnessed by Simeon and then by Anna.

Simeon and Anna had both been waiting for this for a very long time, though they probably did not know exactly what they were waiting for. Simeon was waiting “for the consolation of Israel,” and Anna was waiting “for the redemption of Jerusalem.” By the Spirit, both of them were enabled to see, in the infant Jesus brought by his parents to the temple, the fulfillment of their long years of waiting.

Psalm 131

Whether it was David himself who wrote this psalm or someone else, it was likely someone who might have been thought, in the world’s eyes, to have reason to take pride in his position and accomplishments. Our culture today celebrates such people, and the idea of “not occupying myself with things too great and too marvelous for me” may strike some as inappropriate self-abnegation rather than godly humility.

But the psalmist had learned – probably through painful experience – that chasing after power and high status did not lead to contentment. He does not retreat to the opposite extreme, passively sitting by and just waiting for things to happen. He compares himself, not to a helpless infant, but to a weaned child – able to go off and do things, but still dependent on his mother and comforted by her presence and protection.

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