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If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither!” (Ps. 137:5). This verse recalls the importance of the city of Jerusalem within the Bible. Christians focus so much on God’s universal presence that we can struggle to consider any one place as holier than another. Yet the Bible...

O God, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Grant us the courage to live justly and promote greater understanding. We know you bless peacemakers. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
January 1–7, 2018
Scripture Overview

The beginning of the New Year reminds us of God’s love for all peoples through the celebration of Epiphany. Isaiah uses imagery of a wedding and a garden to declare that the beauty arising from Israel will go to all nations. The psalmist praises the Lord on behalf of everything and everyone on the earth, including men and women from all peoples. Paul proclaims that Christ fulfills the expectations of Israel; he is the open door for all to become children of God. In Luke, Simeon and Anna speak prophetically over the infant Jesus in the Temple, declaring him the light to the Gentiles. God’s promises made in love are fulfilled in love.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Isaiah 61:10–62:3. How are you daily becoming Zion, a person of justice?
• Read Psalm 148. How does your connection to God connect you to creation?
• Read Galatians 4:4-7. How confident are you that God listens to your prayer?
• Read Luke 2:22-40. When have you experienced sacrifice as gain rather than loss?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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The Holy Service of Motherhood

"When I became a parent, I struggled to find God within the chaotic world where I now lived. I was used to contemplative prayer, to silence and service and listening for God’s still, small voice in quiet, hidden spaces. Suddenly none of my life felt quiet or hidden – it was all loud, messy, and exposed." Discover more.