At a time when God seems absent or angry, the prophet pauses for praise. This affirmation of God’s goodness is embedded in a long passage that details God’s grievances with the people. They have been exiled, ripped from their land, taken captive. They are suffering, and perhaps God is suffering...

Holy One, how much you have done for us! Help us to serve you in the world by serving those in need. Help us to be your helpers. Amen.

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Lectionary Week
January 1, 2023
Scripture Overview

This week we celebrate the birth of Jesus! Isaiah reminds us that all that God does, including the sending of a Savior, flows from God’s compassion and steadfast love. The psalmist declares that from the angels in heaven to the works of creation to all the kings and peoples of the earth, all should praise the exalted name of God. The “horn” is a metaphor used elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures that is traditionally interpreted by Christians as a prophecy of the Messiah. The author of Hebrews emphasizes the humanity of Christ. Christ fully partakes of our human nature so that he would understand our weakness and fully execute his role as our high priest. Matthew interprets through prophecy the perilous early travels of the young Jesus.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Isaiah 63:7-9. How has God’s presence saved you?
Read Psalm 148. How can you praise God for the glory of creation around you in your daily life?
Read Hebrews 2:10-18. How does your relationship with God who is not only with us but like us help you understand yourself as related to all other human beings?
Read Matthew 2:13-23. How has your church or faith community made the choice to act in the best interests of the institution rather than to follow God’s way of humility?

Respond by posting a prayer.