Paul is privy to a secret! And while the secret has been around
for time eternal, only within the present age has the secret
been made known; “it has now been revealed to [Christ’s] holy
apostles and prophets by the Spirit.” The Gentiles and Jews are
fellow heirs in the promise of Jesus Christ—all one body.

Paul, though “the very least of all the saints,” proclaims the
meaning of God’s mystery. He conveys to the Gentiles the amazing
abundance of God’s grace and affirms God’s eternal purpose
in bringing all people to Christ. The mystery breaks free, moving
from darkness to light for the world as Paul proclaims that
we are all heirs—members of the body of Christ and recipients
of the promises of Jesus Christ.

As people of God, we acknowledge Jesus as the revelation
of God and the answer for our hurting world. How can we proclaim
this good news and share it with those who may need
to hear? It starts within us, just as it started within Paul. This
year, consider how you will shine the truth of Christ’s promise
as light in the dark places.

Find a dimly lit place, and light a candle. Watch the flame
begin to spread light in the darkness. Invite your entire being
into receiving the gift of God’s revelation for all, Jesus. Watch
the flame flicker; listen to the wick burn; smell the wax or
match; and breathe in the promise of the light that you are part
of the body of Christ. You are called to proclaim this mystery.
This year choose to shine; be bold; be confident.

Creator, give me boldness and confidence to shine your light for all the world to see. May I sense the sacredness of the life of servanthood to which I am called and participate in the mission to make your wisdom known in the world. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 3:13-17

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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.

This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”

Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.