1st Sunday After Christmas

Dec 25, 2023 | Events, Worship Together, Worship Together Front Page

The lectionary passages for the 1st Sunday after Christmas are:

First Reading: Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Psalm 148
Second Reading: Gal. 4:4-7
Gospel: Luke 2:22-40

The liturgical color for the day is: White

Simeon had waited a long time.  Others had given up on waiting.  Others had moved on.  Others had concluded that it is what it is and it would always be the way it was.  But Simeon, he had more than hope.  He had a deep commitment and faith in the promises of God.

So that day in the temple when he took the infant Jesus in his arms there was but one reaction.  It was not surprise but praise.  He knew this day would come and so his only reaction was praise.

That is what Christmas is for us.  That we take confidence in the promises of God and that we act and react in praise.  We do what is right and we praise God.

That baby Jesus was just a baby.  Simeon could hardly know what would happen and how God would bring it about, but he had this abiding trust and praise.  He trusted in the trustworthiness of God.  He took confidence in God’s fulfilling of God’s promises.  And that called for praise.

In this anxiety filled world, where even the next day is unpredictable, that is the call in our lives.  To live praising and knowing that the possibilities for a new day are what God is calling us into.  With the passing of Christmas, we are still called to look forward and lean into the promises of God with praise.

Those promises of God are seen in the very description that Simeon uses.  Simeon says: “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel…”

In our world the dynamic is rise and fall.  Kingdoms rise and fall.  Powerful leaders rise and fall.  We can even see our lives in that manner.  We rise in youth and fall in our old age.  But, this is not the dynamic of God.  Simeon says, “falling and rising.”  We see in that the foreshadow of the cross.  God will take the fall of our existence and raise from it this new life.  Our confidence in the promises of God…there is but one response: praise.

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

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