This has been a difficult season to be happy. Considering the many uproars in our nation, communities, churches—and even our homes if we are honest—it’s been a time of turmoil and grief, a time when I have questioned the presence of God. Where are you? I ask. Do you even...

Dear Lord, amid devastation, loss, disappointment, and hurt, put a new song in our hearts that will draw us closer to you in praise. Amen.

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Lectionary Week
December 25–31, 2023
Scripture Overview

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!

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Isaiah 52:7-10. How are you spreading the message of peace in Christ? From whom have you heard that message?
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.