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Faith Daily | 30 December 2021

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 FOR JOHN, APOSTLE and EVANGELIST

Shed upon your Church, O Lord,

the brightness of your light,

so that we, being illumined by the teaching

of John the evangelist,

may walk in the light of your truth,

and be brought to the fullness of eternal life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.



GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 2: 36-40

36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, 37then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.


39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Peter Galbraith


Todays reading is short and to the point. What point?


It highlights Anna a faithful prophetess whose diligence and attention to God’s message imbued her with an understanding of the first Advent that those expecting a triumphant Messiah did and could not comprehend. She was able to reach those who had ears to hear and speak about the child in terms of a redemptive purpose so different from the popular warlike one.


As such, amidst the clamour of her society, she quietly and faithfully explained the significance of the first Advent. What can Anna teach the Church as the custodian of truths pointing forward to the second Advent.


What are some of these truths?


“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” wrote the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11. Paul is proclaiming the importance of the Lord’s supper not only as an act of remembrance and gratitude, but as a reminder of the certainty of His coming again (a second Advent).


In chapter 15 of the same letter Paul reminds his readers that their Christian hope is centred around the resurrection of Jesus. This is not some ancient Greek concept of an immortal soul as a disembodied entity flitting around space, but the glory of a resurrection body.


“Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died…But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”


The Church is charged with proclaiming this second Advent as the hope of the world, to be enacted in God’s good time, when the saints will rise triumphant, heaven and earth are renewed as one and God’s will at last will be done on earth as it is in heaven. As with Anna this requires persistence and faithfulness in a world where each generation is beset by its own challenges to steadfastness, and belief in the eternity of God’s promises.


Christ has died,


Christ is risen,


Christ will come again.


FINAL PRAYER: APBA p465


Eternal God,

through long generations you prepared a way

for the coming of your Son,

and by your Spirit you still bring light to illumine our paths:

renew us in faith and hope

that we may welcome Christ to rule our thoughts

and claim our love;

to whom be glory for ever.

Amen.

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