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“Think of what lies behind the gift.” My mother smiled as she spoke the words. She always did. I first heard them the day before my fourth Christmas. Presents had appeared in four separate piles under our Christmas tree. Beginning a habit I’ve never entirely broken, I fiddled with everything...
God who sends a child, may we know deeply your unstoppable desire for us all. Amen.
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we do so with cries of praise to God. Isaiah delights and rejoices in God, who will bring reconciliation to all nations. Psalm 148 declares that all of creation praises the Lord, for creation knows who formed and sustains it. Paul explains to the Galatians that God sent Jesus to redeem us, and as a result we may now call out to God as God’s children. In the Gospel reading, Luke sets the story of Jesus within the history of the Israelites. Both Simeon and Anna are devout people, filled with the Holy Spirit. They have been praying for God to send the Redeemer, and God gives them insight to recognize him as Jesus. Praise be to God for this indescribable gift!
Read Isaiah 61:10–62:3. How do you yearn for righteousness? How do the prophet’s words give you hope?
Read Psalm 148. Pause and consider the joy of God’s coming salvation for the whole world.
Read Galatians 4:4-7. Consider your identity as a child of God through Christ. What joy does this identity bring you?
Read Luke 2:22-40. How can you, like Anna, joyously proclaim the freedom and redemption Christ brings all of humanity?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I have been in the military for over 18 years, working in Religious Affairs. The Upper Room has always been a crucial resource for our military members. It serves as a beacon of hope, a way to connect daily to God and a reminder of how we should act as Christians.”
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