First, a couple of announcements of Christmas Concerts that you may wish to attend.
The Grey Eagle Community Chorus will present a concert of Christmas music today at 4:00 PM at the Grey Eagle United Methodist Church. This is the reschedule time from the concert on December 9th that was cancelled due to (much) snow.
The Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra will present a concert titled “Christmas Potpourri” on Saturday, December 29, at 7:30 PM at the American Lutheran Church in Long Prairie. This, too, is a reschedule of their concert on December 15 that was cancelled due to snow.
Great opportunities to hear local musicians make wonderful music.
This Sunday is the Sixth Day of Christmas (geese a laying?) in the 12 Days of Christmas. For some reason, the Lectionary Committee (those people who planned out three years of Bible passages) chose to put the circumcision of Jesus and his dedication, along with the story of Anna and Simeon meeting the child (Luke 2:21-40) in Year B, when we read the Gospel of Mark. This week we read Luke’s story of the 12 year old Jesus at the temple. Then next week, the Lectionary Committee has us reading the story of the Magi from Matthew 2 which probably happened when Jesus was between 2 and 3 years old. (More about that next week)
Anyway, our readings this week are:
1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26 – Back on November 18 we heard the story of Hannah who was barren and then eventually became pregnant with Samuel. When Samuel was weaned she gave him to the Lord and he lived with the prophet Eli at the tent that housed the Ark of the Covenant. 1 Samuel 2:12-36 tells the story of the corruption of Eli’s son. In the midst of this story we hear about Samuel and how Hannah makes him new priestly robes every year. In verse 20 Eli blesses Hannah and Elkanah asking God to replace their son Samuel. Verse 21a, not part of our reading, reports that they had five more kids. Verses 21b and 26 both report how well Samuel was doing.
Psalm 148 – A Psalm of praise for God’s great creation and God’s work in that creation. Actually, the psalmist call on all of creation to praise God for what God has done.
Colossians 3:12-17 – In this one paragraph Paul teaches the church at Colossae how we should live together in peace and love. In living in such a way, we should also be giving thanks and praise to God through Jesus Christ.
Luke 2:41-52 – The annual trip to Jerusalem for Passover with a group of travelers from Nazareth, friends and relatives, is something that became fairly routine for Mary and Joseph and their children, Jesus being the oldest. M & J were probably preoccupied with the youngest children and assumed Jesus was with others in the group. How many total days were M & J separated from Jesus? What does “after three days” refer to? After the end of Passover (one day out, one day back, one day looking = three days); or after they noticed he was not there (one day out, one day back + two days looking = 4 days); or after they got back to Jerusalem (one day out, one day back, three days looking = 5 days). This may not be very important compared to the idea that Jesus was listening to, asking questions of, and learning from the priests at the temple. Perhaps more amazing is the fact that the teachers were impressed with Jesus’ understanding. Eighteen years later they would be confounded and disturbed enough by his understanding that they would want him dead.
I hope you have a wonder 12 days of Christmas!
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor