New Year’s Day

Psalm 8 (Read all the scriptures here.)

Numbers 6:22-27

Galatians 4:4-7

Philippians 2:5-11

Luke 2:15-21

Notes

Psalm 8: This psalm celebrates the greatness of God’s name as well as his power in creation. It is fascinating to ponder this as we consider Jesus becoming a helpless baby.

Numbers 6:22-27 is a blessing the priests would proclaim over the people.

Galatians 4:4-7 Paul’s words about our adoption into God’s people combines two ideas: in the Old Testament, God called Israel his son, and in New Testament times the Romans sometimes adopted adult sons in order to give inheritances to non-family members.

Philippians 2:5-11 shows us Jesus’ humility as well as his greatness.

Luke 2:15-21:  Jesus was circumcised when he was eight days old–that’s why we remember this event eight days after Christmas. Naming the child was part of the circumcision ceremony. Because the circumcision is described so near to the story of Jesus presentation at the temple (when Simeon and Anna met him), it is easy to miss the fact that this is a separate occasion. The temple visit happened when he was forty days old.

Treasure:  Jesus

It was a common name at the time,
a name with a meaning that would speak to every Jewish person: “God saves.”
The angel told Joseph to name the baby
–the most uncommon baby ever—
this common name with great meaning.
It would not be a dream or a prayer for this baby.
His name declared the reason he was here.

Child in the Manger

Child in the manger, Infant of Mary,
Outcast and Stranger, Lord of all,
Child Who inherits all our transgressions,
All our demerits on Him fall.

Once the most holy Child of salvation
Gently and lowly lived below.
Now as our glorious mighty Redeemer,
See Him victorious o’er each foe.

Prophets foretold Him, Infant of wonder;
Angels behold Him on His throne.
Worthy our Savior of all our praises;
Happy forever are His own.

–Mary M. Macdonald, quoted at cyberhymnal.org

Photo Credit: Henk Bouma

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