Thank December 30, 2018
Hello internet friends and blog followers! Thank you so much for visiting my site. So, here we are at the first Sunday after Christmas, the Sunday after celebrating the birth of Jesus. I hope you were all able to celebrate in the manner most precious to you. I had the privilege of having the day off work and was able to travel to visit with family. I had the opportunity to exchange gifts, eat some good food, give some gifts and take photos to help commemorate the day. So, where do we go from here (?) Most likely the decorations are coming down or will be soon, the leftover food has been consumed and gifts have found their way to a resting spot or useful area. Do we just return to life as it was before this season of Advent started(?). I truly hope that is not the case. In the church calendar of events, today is the First Sunday after Christmas and January is the next season and it is called “Epiphany.” I have been researching the lectionary of the church that I attend and that I am a member of, Disciples of Christ. I found several scripture passages for today, my assumption is that not all are meant to be looked at all together at the same time but rather a schedule of readings for a specific year but since I’m not exactly sure I have decided to include all four passages in today’s entry. This way you can see if a particular one speaks directly to you. The first one is from a familiar writer we have been reading during Advent, Luke. In Luke chapter two, we are told about Jesus attending the Passover in Jerusalem when he was 12 years old. Luke does not provide much history of Jesus’ life from birth to age 12. In fact, this is the only biblical reference to Jesus’ childhood. In Luke’s story, we read that Jesus was at the Temple sitting and listening to the teachers and posing questions. When the Passover was completed, Mary and Joseph along with several others began their journey home and after traveling a whole day thinking Jesus was with others in the group and then could not be found, they returned to Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the Temple with the teachers and scholars. Mary was relieved that he was found and upset that he had not been with the group. Jesus, replied “why were you looking for me?” Now…I’m not a parent but I can imagine how worried and frantic Mary must have been and typical answer of a child, innocently saying, “why were you looking for me?” As if to say, I wasn’t lost, I knew exactly where I was and what I was doing! After a brief exchange and conversation the story tells us that Jesus returned obediently with Mary and Joseph and continue to grow up, maturing in wisdom, years and favor with God and people.
We should not let ourselves get lost in the world and just return to what life was like before Advent, we should continue the season of growing and expand our minds and our lives to be more Christlike. Which brings me to the second passage used today, Colossians chapter three, we are given instructions from God about our behaviors and attitudes. We are to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We are to forgive one another and teach one another. And, in all things give thanks to God. I know myself, and I still need to practice each one of these. As a point of clarification here, God wants us to be Christlike and to do these things and God is not asking for perfection. He knows we are sinful and we are not perfect but this should not hinder us from trying to be the best we can be.
The next scripture is from the Old Testament, Psalm 148 written by David and is listed as a solemn and earnest call to all creatures, according to their ability, to praise the Creator, and to show his everlasting power and his Godhead, the things unseen that can be viewed in things that are seen. It is a beautiful chapter enlisting the praises of all things to the Creator of all! Thanks be to God! Praise Be To God For All He Has Done!
The last passage referenced for today is also from the Old Testament, it’s from Samuel and tells the story of young Samuel being presented to Eli the priest. Eli and his sins were to be training Samuel but as the story progresses we find that Eli’s two sons found to be unfit to tutor Samuel. We also read that Hannah offered her son Samuel to God as a living sacrifice, much like Abraham had done with Isaac. Samuel found favor in the Lord and as Hannah lent her son to the Lord, she was recompensed with five more children. Trusting in God for God’s deliverance.
I am going to continue my search for wisdom and truth into the next season, I hope you will join me on this journey. God is still working in and through all of us, let’s do it together.
I will be sharing another post very soon explaining more about my 2019 agenda very soon. God has been speaking to me in many way and I have been tremendously blessed through many conversations during Advent. I have enjoyed sharing stories with you and look forward to whatever the next season brings. May the Lord Bless and Keep you all!
12-year-old Jesus in the Temple by Carl Bloch
“Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When he was 12 years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to their custom. After the festival was over, they were returning home, but the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t know it. Supposing that he was among their band of travelers, they journeyed on for a full day while looking for him among their family and friends. When they didn’t find Jesus, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple. He was sitting among the teachers, listening to them and putting questions to them. Everyone who heard him was amazed by his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were shocked. His mother said, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Listen! Your father and I have been worried. We’ve been looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he said to them. Jesus went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. His mother cherished every word in her heart. Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with people.”
Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.”
From Gospel to Life – From Life to Gospel francisanseculars.com
“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from heaven! Praise God on the heights! Praise God, all of you who are his messengers! Praise God, all of you who comprise his heavenly forces! Sun and moon, praise God! All of you bright stars, praise God! You highest heaven, praise God! Do the same, you waters that are above the sky! Let all of these praise the Lord’s name because God gave the command and they were created! God set them in place always and forever. God made a law that will not be broken. Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all you ocean depths! Do the same, fire and hail, snow and smoke, stormy wind that does what God says! Do the same, you mountains, every single hill, fruit trees, and every single cedar! Do the same, you animals—wild or tame— you creatures that creep along and you birds that fly! Do the same, you kings of the earth and every single person, you princes and every single ruler on earth! Do the same, you young men—young women too!— you who are old together with you who are young! Let all of these praise the Lord’s name because only God’s name is high over all. Only God’s majesty is over earth and heaven. God raised the strength of his people, the praise of all his faithful ones— that’s the Israelites, the people who are close to him. Praise the Lord!”
Hannah Presents Samuel to Eli
1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
Now Samuel was serving the Lord. He was a young boy, clothed in a linen priestly vest. His mother would make a small robe for him and take it to him every year when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife: “May the Lord replace the child of this woman that you gave back to the Lord.” Then they would return home. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel kept growing up and was more and more liked by both the Lord and the people.”
~Peace and Blessings~