Our focus will be A New Creation
╬ New Beginnings
We stand on the cusp of a new year. It’s a “new moon” moment; a hinge point in the unfolding story of our lives and the continuing story of God’s great work of creation. The joys and the hardships of times past trail behind us. And, by grace, we’re given the gift of new beginnings. We gather to celebrate this First Sunday of Christmas – this New Year’s Day – to step forward with great hope and expectation into the time ahead.
Here is a bulletin cover image, Sermon and Reflection Slides are attached. The Prayer of the Day and the Gospel Reading (the only reading for the day) are below. We are working on a little different Order of Service for our single worship gathering on Jan. 1, at 9:30.
Looking forward to celebrating with you!
- Pastor Brad Highum
God of new beginnings, we greet you at the dawning of a new day. You who have led us on the journey thus far, go with us in the time to come. Shine light on the path ahead and lead us in the way, the truth and the life that leads to you! Amen.
Gospel: Luke 2:22-40
22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord"), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word;30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,31 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." 33 And the child's father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him.
34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, "This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed — and a sword will pierce your own soul, too."
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 seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At 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. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.