25 December 2018

DAY 24

Image by Hefin Owen

A Greeting
O come, let us sing to God;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
(Psalm 95:1)

A Reading
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds
said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing
that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child
lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what
had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were
amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured
all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds
returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard
and seen, as it had been told them.
(Luke 2:15-19)


Meditative Verse
The word is very near to you;
it is in your mouth and in your heart.
(Deuteronomy 30:14)

A Reflection
In God
there is communion, unity, love and light,
and from this communion, all creation flows.
And this movement finds its fulfillment
as the Word became flesh
to lead human beings into a new communion with God
to become one with God.
- from Drawn Into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John
by Jean Vanier

Verse for the Day
‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.’
(Luke 2:29-32)

Image by David Hoffman

We know from Luke that shepherds and Wise Ones attended at and after the birth of Jesus in wonder. For the figures of the birth story, however, a new Advent begins. Mary and Joseph must raise the boy prophet and wait for the words promised by angels to both of them, to be fulfilled. Mary will spend thirty years in that ‘Advent’. On the night that Jesus was born, John the Baptist is already several months old. The people who will be called by Jesus to “drop their nets” and follow him are in their infancy. We, however, don’t have to wait thirty years to follow Jesus into the world. Each year we tell the story of the birth again so that we can renew within ourselves our own preparation to be disciples of Jesus. During the rest of the year, we may fall out of practice or become too disaffected by the troubling realities that are all around us. And each Advent and Christmas we come back to our faithful hearts and try again; we prepare and renew ourselves once more. We prepare for the birth so that we are ready to then renew our sense of discipleship. Discipleship will be the theme of a new devotional project that will start on Epiphany. A special collaboration with Bishop Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, it will help us to start the new year affirming that keen sense of renewed commitment we have found during Advent and Christmas.
(Details will come to you by email or can be found on our Facebook and Twitter pages during the next week.)

Bishop Johnson writes: “I am sure that you, like I, have been blessed by this Advent series, Faith in the Night. I invite you to return for a new devotional that will unfold over Epiphany and focus on Living our Faith. Pray. Read. Worship. Love. Join me as we seek to strengthen our response to the call to discipleship we have received in baptism. And have a very blessed Christmas!”

Grateful thanks to all and see you in twelve days!

15th Century Besançon Book of Hours.
Mary reads scripture while Joseph minds
Jesus. Come join us for devotional study
this Epiphany!

LC† Faith in the Night is a project of Lutherans Connect / Lutheran Campus Ministry Toronto,
supported by the Mission Committee partnerships of the Eastern Synod of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. Join us on Facebook. Follow us @LutConnect