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Faith Daily | 1 January 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 476


Almighty God,

you have shed upon us

the light of your incarnate Word:

may this light, kindled in our hearts,

shine forth in our lives;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

COLLECT PRAYER Following First Sunday after Christmas APBA p476


Almighty God,

you have shed upon us

the light of your incarnate Word:

may this light, kindled in our hearts,

shine forth in our lives;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.


GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 2: 15-21

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.


21After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Cathy Grant


The angel left nothing to chance when briefing the shepherds about the birth of the Saviour and giving them their riding instructions. This was the Messiah, the Lord. And they would know him because he would be in a manger, in an inn (probably the ground floor of the house, as people often lived upstairs while animals lived on the ground floor out of the elements).


The shepherds were the ones who were told by the angels who this child was. It was their role to share this amazing news more widely and to reaffirm for Mary and Joseph what had been until then their own private secret.


In the opening words of the chapter, Luke introduces Augustus Caesar, the adopted son of Julius Caesar, who became sole ruler of the Roman world by turning the republic into an empire. He declared his dead adoptive father to be divine and styled himself as “son of god,” increasingly worshipped as a god in the eastern part of the empire.


Thus, from the outset, Luke sets the scene for the birth of this little Jesus as the beginning of a confrontation between the kingdom of God – in all its apparent weakness, insignificance and vulnerability – and the kingdoms of the world. And the rest of Luke’s gospel tells of how Jesus comes into his kingdom.


As we ponder a new year and the opportunity it offers for new beginnings, let us recommit ourselves to following the true king, Jesus our Lord, and let us reflect on how we will walk with God, and live for God, in his kingdom in 2022.


FINAL PRAYER: Jim Cotter, “Unfolding the Living Word”, Christ-focus for the new year


Christ has no body now on earth

but yours and mine this day,

to serve with tact the common good,

to suffer and to pray.

Ours are the eyes through which Christ sees,

compassionate, piercing, clear,

ours are the mouths through which Christ speaks

of love that melts all fear.

Ours are the ears, attentive, quiet,

through which Christ listens much,

and Christ now works with healing power

through hands that reach and touch.

We promise as a new year dawns

to live each moment well,

to serve and listen, touch and heal,

the greatest story tell,

with Christ-likeness, incarnate, now

one human race on earth,

gifts to each other, still unpacked,

of wonder and of worth.

Amen.

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