Faith Daily | 23 December 2020
PRAYER of the Week| ADVENT FOUR (APBA p.471):
raise up your power and come among us,
and with great might succour us,
that, whereas through our sins and wickedness
we are sore let and hindered
in running the race that is set before us,
your bountiful grace and mercy
may speedily help and deliver us;
through your Son our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be honour and glory, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 1: 57-66
57Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Cheryl Courtice
This passage speaks loudly to me of tradition. Traditionally, when a child is born there is much celebration, in some traditions especially if it is a boy. In some traditions not nearly as much celebration welcomes a girl.
How timely to be thinking of traditions as Christmas approaches…a time heavy with traditions. I can remember my mother ‘lamenting’ that because “Christmas lunch had to be on the table at noon”, the early morning stuffing of the turkey would clash with three young children bouncing around the kitchen displaying Santa’s bounty…an early Christmas morn tradition for many years!
Some traditions we hold dear. My sister and her husband do a magnificent job of getting our family together for Christmas lunch each year. Our daughter will be there from Hong Kong, which involved three rounds of cancelled flights, 24 hours travel time and 14 days of hotel quarantine.
Some traditions we can change or allow to evolve. Unlike when we were children, we arrive at my sister’s at 12.30pm and lunch is served later in the afternoon. From our passage, “No; he is to be called John” replaces naming the baby after his father.
This year many of the traditions we hold dear may not be possible. I am so grateful that our family will be all together and my heart goes out to the many for whom this will not be the case.
Life can be very unsettling!
I read this week “Let Me lead you step by step through this day. If your primary focus is on Me, you can walk along perilous paths without being afraid. Eventually, you will learn to relax and enjoy the adventure of our journey together.” (Jesus Calling December 9)
“What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand for the Lord was with him.
FINAL PRAYER: Jim Cotter
Living God, strong and merciful,
coming in our midst with transforming power,
make ready a way in our wilderness,
clear a path in the tangle of our hearts,
that we may become a repentant people
who hunger and thirst and strive
for what is just and good.
We pray this through Christ the One
in whose constant coming we trust,
whose day is always near.