Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 28, 2014 - First Sunday After Christmas

Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for December 28th: Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 148; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:22-40; theme: what gift did you get for Christmas? Song: Away in the Manger UMH 217 Isaiah : As we read through the book of Isaiah, we are taken through a battle. The people are struggling and suffering, they are crying out to God for relief. But if God is up there, and we are down here, How does he get that help to us? He promises that he will send those who speak for him. That he will raise up a suffering servant. He becomes that suffering servant. As we come to the end of Isaiah, we learn that the battle is over. That the people has won. Isaiah starts to tell us what victory looks like, so that we recognize it when we see it. The earth will start to live again, the people will start to live again, We will celebrate. We will become new people. Let us celebrate what the Lord has done, but also what the Lord will do in our lives. Luke: We continue the story of the birth of our Lord. He has to be brought into the Jewish family. So his parents take him to the temple to be blessed and circumcised. But this is no ordinary baby, at this point only the parents know that. Jesus does not have a halo over his head. So how does Samuel know? Because the promise fulfilled is not just to Mary and Joseph, but to the people – to all of us. So the people, the elders bless that baby and put all of their hopes and dreams. The good news is that the child recognized his place in life, and he never stepped out of his purpose. HE grew, he sacrificed, and we have a chance to give our blessing to Jesus even today. Questions: What are signs in your life that things are getting better? How is God answering our prayers even today? Who is the suffering servant today? How do you bless the children of today and tell them they are special? How do you watch them grow into strong children? What do you do to teach them faith?

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