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By the time Jesus turns twelve, Mary and Joseph have carved out life-as-usual routines and traditions for their household, including the annual Passover pilgrimage from Nazareth to Jerusalem and back again. Jesus travels with his extended family “every year,” going “up as usual for the festival,” and returning home together....

Holy Jesus, may I search for you unceasingly. Remind me every day to turn to you and to trust that I will find you and you will find me even in uncertain and unlikely places. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
December 24–30, 2018
Scripture Overview

The boy Samuel worshiped and served God from a young age. He grows in stature and favor, the same description that will later be applied to the young Jesus in this week’s reading from Luke. The psalmist praises God for raising up a “horn” for the people. This “horn” is referred to elsewhere in the Psalms as being the True King from the line of David, identified later by Luke (1:69) as Jesus. Paul encourages the Colossians to let love rule in their community and to praise God with songs and hymns (such as the Psalms). The additional readings for this special week focus our minds on the Advent of the Lord, the amazing truth that “the Word became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14), as the prophets had prophesied long ago.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Isaiah 9:2-7. Where in your world do you see darkness? What lies within your power to dispel it?
• Read Psalm 148. How have you witnessed creation praising the Creator?
• Read Colossians 3:12-17. With what qualities from this list do you clothe yourself daily?
• Read Luke 2:41-52. When has a not-as-usual occurrence generated anxiety in your life? How was it resolved?

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