Faith Daily | 1 January 2021
COLLECT PRAYER| The naming and circumcision of Jesus
Christ our brother,
in you there is neither Jew or Gentile,
neither male or female,
yet you received the mark of the covenant,
and took upon yourself
the precious burden of the law.
May we so accept in our bodies
our own particular struggle and promise,
that we also may break down barriers,
in your name. APBA P.608
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 Rev'd Jan
It is the eight days after Christmas, the remembering of the worldly/church naming of Jesus, and his Jewish circumcision; and it is the new year, the beginning of 2021.
The Collect Prayer for this day brings both foci into our reflection. We observe Jesus’ humanity and his Jewish heritage, ‘the precious burden of the law’. Jesus said (Matthew 5: 17)…“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil.” We all need to live with the law of the land, as well as the law of God.
As we commence the new year, 2021, the resolutions fly around, indeed abound. Perhaps somewhat subdued after the year of 2020, but still part of our hope of prayer for this world and self-improvement. Again the Collect Prayer expresses it so honestly “ may we so accept in our bodies our own particular struggle and promise”.
Jesus accepted his full humanity – and thus enabled us to do so also. Jesus accepted also his full divinity – and invites us into that promise as well. When we also live in the human divine nature given to us in him, we can live his commandment to love others and to change the world. As we do so, we can ‘break down barriers’ for others to see and know – there is a better way to live.
May our resolutions for this new year be worthy of our leader, our Christ.
FINAL PRAYER: Rev'd Jan
take the words of flippancy from my mouth;
take the surface living of my mind;
take the shallow intention of my heart;
and turn me. Once again.
So that the words of my mouth
reflect the love of your heart;
so that the life that I live
mirrors the teaching of your being;
so that the focus of my mind
is only and always your Word.
May this year be of us together,
lighting the world,
revealing the truth,
bearing each other’s burdens,
praying our way,
honouring our God above all things.
To God be the glory,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.