Almighty God, who came to us long ago in the birth of Jesus Christ, be born in us anew today by the power of your Holy Spirit. We offer our lives as home to you and ask for grace and strength to live as your faithful, joyful children always. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants)
Psalm for the Week: Psalm 85
Scripture for the Day: Colossians 1:15-23
Reading for Reflection:
Christ is the human face of God. Jesus is the autobiography of God. In Christ, God was spelling himself out, expressing himself. Jesus was the audible, visible Word who expressed the heart of the inaudible, invisible God. (F. Dale Brunner from Theology, Notes, and News - October 1999)
The first verb Mark used to describe Jesus' action is "came." Jesus came to be with us. God's first move is to be among us—Immanuel, God is with us. God comes to us long before we come to God. We may think we are in pursuit of God, but in reality we are only responding to a God who has been pursuing us. (Embracing the Love of God by James Bryan Smith)
Reflection and Listening: silent and written
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Song for the Week: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set our people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone,
By thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.
Come, Lord Jesus!
You are my righteousness. You are my goodness, the cause and the reason for goodness. You are my life and the light of life. You are my love and all my loving. You are the most noble language I can ever utter, my words and all their meaning, my wisdom, my truth, and the better part of myself. Amen. (Preparing for Jesus by Walter Wangerin Jr.)