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Centuries before the writing of this Gospel, Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians and the Israelites found themselves exiled in a land far from home. As the faithful Israelites recounted God’s faithfulness to their ancestors, their captors could not help but take notice. Traces of their faith remained in the East....

Lord, help us always keep our hearts tuned to an eternal perspective. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
December 26–31, 2016
Scripture Overview

Isaiah 60:1-6 recalls the coming of God into the world as a brilliant light. That light carries with it the power to transform Israel so that those outside Israel are drawn to her light. Ephesians 3:1-12 points out God’s mysterious inclusion of the Gentiles among God’s people. The gift of light carries with it the obligation to accept and proclaim the inclusion of all out- siders. The psalm and Gospel passages draw on imagery of the king and his enthronement. For the psalmist, the king’s power and longevity must serve the purpose of the people’s good. The magi in Matthew are drawn by the light that marks the infant king’s birth and thus begin the process of outsiders who see in the gospel the mystery of salvation.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Psalm 72:1-7; 10-14. How should we pray for our world’s leaders? What is our responsibility in working for justice and righteousness in our world today?
• Read Isaiah 60:1-6. Where have you seen evidence of God’s presence? How has God used you as a light to dispel dark- ness?
• Read Matthew 2:1-12. How do you respond when people ask you spiritual questions? In what ways have you sought the Lord and been sensitive to God’s guidance?
• Read Ephesians 3:1-12. How has God blessed you beyond your perceived boundaries?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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Sharing the heart, mind, and work of Christ . . .

“Prayer, searching the scripture, and service are means of entering into and sharing the heart, mind, and work of Christ. A balanced spiritual practice helps us get in step with the transforming rhythm of Jesus’ life with God: work and worship, engagement and rest, service and Sabbath, contemplation and action.” Read more.