Skip to main content

Lectionary Notes for First Sunday after Christmas Day, Year C

Readings for 1st Sunday after Christmas Day, 12/30/12:
 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26, Psalm 148, Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:41-52

1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26:

  • V. 26, “Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature…” Compare this to the description of John the Baptist in Luke 1:80 – “The child grew and became strong in spirit…” and of Jesus in Luke 2:52 – “Jesus increased in wisdom and in years and in divine and human favor.” These statements seem to indicate a child marked by God, for some special/divine purpose.
  • V. 18-20 – Samuel’s mother, Hannah, played such an important role in her son’s life. Remember that it was her prayers during a time of barrenness that brought to her the gift of Samuel, and she promised to give Samuel as a servant to God if she was able to bear a son. Her faithfulness continues to God indirectly through service to her son. In other words, how we care for others links to how we care about God, and is ‘credited’ to us as service to God.

Psalm 148:

  • Praise, praise, praise! That’s the theme of this psalm. This psalm has beautiful imagery about creation – it is not just that humans praise God or even praise God for the gift of creation. It is creation itself that praises God for it’s own existence. “Praise [God], sun and moon; praise him all you shining stars!”
  • This image sort of reminds me of “The Lion King” when all the animals come to see the new baby Simba be ‘baptized’ – all creation is joining in. What a picture!
  • Creation is commanded by the psalmist to give praise because of its existence. Do we require more of God to give God praise? Do we only feel like praising when things are going our way or when we've received some desired request? Or do we praise because we are, because we have being?
  • V. 11-12 say that Kings and the regular people, rulers, young men and women, old men and women, all should praise together. Is that a good picture of worship today? How do we worship together from different walks of life? Who is missing from this full picture in our own congregations?

Colossians 3:12-17:

  • This is a popular favorite scripture passage, not only from Colossians, but from the whole Bible. It’s a picture of a community’s way of living in Christ, and it’s an ideal we probably all seek.
  • “God’s chosen ones” – from the Greek “eklektoi”, meaning literally ‘say out’ but translated as ‘chosen out’ or ‘selected.’ (Humorously, the verb form can mean “to pull out one’s gray hairs”!!!)
  • Images of clothing ourselves, with compassion, kindness, humility, etc. Compare this to imagery of clothing ourselves with the armor of Christ that we find in Ephesians 6. Also, this metaphor loses some of it’s punch if we think about today’s clothing styles. But imagine something from biblical times, long and flowing robes, draped over the body in folds, and you get a different idea of how this “clothing ourselves” can function.
  • “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” The word dwell comes from the Greek “enokeito”, which does simply mean “live in” or “dwell” as translated, but it is a word used for people living in a house, not Christ’s word. Paul is suggesting that Christ’s word come to live with you, to be as much a part of your life and your home as your children or spouses or parents are.

Luke 2:41-52:

  • This is the only canonical story we have of Jesus from the birth narratives in Luke and Matthew until Jesus begins his ministry around age 30. Why is it included? What else happened to Jesus in his childhood, his teenage years, his twenties? These are questions people wonder and dream about.
  • I think of the series “Smallville” on the WB – the account of Clark Kent/Superman’s high school years, previously unknown to us. This is what we wish we had of Jesus – a way to learn about all the things that went into shaping who he became as an adult.
  • “Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey.” It’s hard to imagine parents traveling a day without knowing for sure where their 12 year old was. This let’s us know we have a disconnect between today and Jesus’ day in terms of customs about travel, child care, community relationships, etc.
  • Probably this story is included mostly to illustrate Jesus’ already divine nature, the fact that he was already set apart even at a young age.
  • “His mother treasured all these things in her heart.” Imagine being the parent of one like Jesus, and trying to let go of the usual ways that you would act toward a child in order to let something greater take place. Today’s lectionary features the acts of two mothers: Hannah and Mary. We also have to let go of things in our lives in order to let God’s greater purpose be at work in our lives. 


Popular posts from this blog

re-post: devotional life for progressive Christians

I posted this a while back before anyone was really reading this blog. Now that more people seem to be stopping by, I thought I'd put it out there again with some edits/additons since it's been on my mind again... Do you find it difficult to have any sort of devotional time? When I was growing up, I was almost compulsive about my personal Bible Study, devotion time, etc. Somewhere along the way, I got more and more sporadic. In part, I found myself frustrated with the devotional books that I considered theologically too conservative. I find it hard to bond with God when you're busy mentally disagreeing with the author of whatever resource you're reading. My habit was broken, and I've never gotten it back for more than a few weeks at a time. So, a disciplined devotional/prayer/bible-reading life - is it something I should be striving to get back, or something that is filled by other ways I am close to God? This is a debate I have with myself all the time. On the

Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent, "Hope: A Thrill of Hope," Mark 1:1-8

Sermon 11/26/17 Mark 1:1-8 Hope: A Thrill of Hope             Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Is the glass of life half empty, or half full? My mom and I have gone back and forth about this a bit over the years. She’s wildly optimistic about most things, and sometimes I would say her optimism, her hopefulness borders on the irrational. If the weather forecast says there’s a 70% chance of a snowstorm coming, my mom will focus very seriously on that 30% chance that it is going to be a nice day after all. I, meanwhile, will begin adjusting my travel plans and making a backup plan for the day. My mom says I’m a pessimist, but I would argue that I’m simply a realist , trying to prepare for the thing that is most likely to happen, whether I like that thing or not. My mom, however, says she doesn’t want to be disappointed twice, both by thinking something bad is going to happen, and then by having the bad thing actually happen. She’d rather be hopeful, and enjoy her state of

Sermon for Second Sunday in Advent, "Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright," Isaiah 11:1-10, Mark 13:24-37

Sermon 12/3/17 Mark 13:24-37, Isaiah 11:1-10 Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright             “Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon’ virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace.”             This week, I read news stories about North Korea testing a missile that perhaps could reach across the whole of the United States.             This week, I spoke with a colleague in ministry who had, like all churches in our conference, received from our church insurance company information about how to respond in an active shooter situation. She was trying to figure out how to respond to anxious parishioners and yet not get caught up in spending all of their ministry time on creating safety plans.             This week, we’ve continued to hear stories from people who have experienced sexual assault and harassment, as the actions, sometimes over decades, of men in positions of power have been