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As Paul travels through Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, he encounters a group of twelve disciples who know of John the Baptist but not Jesus. Because they have never heard of the Holy Spirit either, they are probably Gentiles. (Jews would have known about the Holy Spirit from Israel’s scriptures; see...
Holy Spirit, help us to remember our baptism. We strive to live and work and rest within you all our days. Amen.
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.
• 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.
“Namaste, greetings, and good morning. My name is Sabita, and I am a regular reader of Mathillo Kotha, the Nepali edition of The Upper Room. I have been reading the devotional for two-three years, and it has helped me very much to grow in my faith. It has also helped my family to gather in one place and to fellowship.” Give to the International Editions of The Upper Room, and make a global impact.