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The start of a new year provides an opportunity for new
beginnings—new calendar pages, new food plans, new
exercise routines, new budgeting goals. Many of us embrace a
fairly common practice of realigning goals at the start of each
year. We may need a reset to promote positive change, but...

Breath of Life, open me to the new things you long to foster through my life as your servant this year. May I make the most of each breath. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
January 2–8, 2017
Scripture Overview

Many will read the Isaiah text and identify the servant with Jesus, the one God enables to do the work of justice and transformation. The psalm announces the glory of God, a king powerful over the turbulence of nature and whose voice is a transcendent revelation. Matthew’s story of Jesus’ baptism joins the themes of servant and king. The baptism inaugurates Jesus’ ministry in which he proclaims God’s righteousness. Peter’s speech in Acts reminds us that Jesus’ baptism carries with it the promise of baptism in the Spirit.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Isaiah 42:1-9. In this new year, what promises of God do you want to breathe in?
• Read Psalm 29. When the storms of life rage, how do you listen for God’s promptings?
• Read Acts 10:34-43. To whom do you need to proclaim the promises of Jesus Christ?
• Read Matthew 3:13-17. How does your understanding of your own baptism encourage you to live as an obedient child of God?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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It is mission critical that we ground ourselves . . .

“As spiritual leaders, it is mission-critical that we ground ourselves in spiritual practices that will strengthen our congregations during challenging times. We must tend to the soulof the congregation, to the heart of our call of being disciple-making congregations.” Read more.