The First Reading is recorded in Isaiah 9:1-4. What a wonderful proclamation of hope! Those who were in gloom, darkness, contempt and despair will be led to the light of the Lord and they will be filled with rejoicing when the Lord rescues and restores them! The people had to go through punishment and exile because of unrepentant sin, but the Lord did restore a remnant; He kept His promise.
He continues to keep His promises in Jesus, leading us from the darkness and despair of sin into the light of Christ. Let Him lift the burdens from us, and walk in the light of the Lord.
Faithful Lord, we praise You that You forgave and restored Your people. We thank and praise You that You gave them the light of Your fulfilled promises. Lord, we thank and praise You that You have given us the light of Christ through forgiveness. Enable us to rejoice and walk in His light every day. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
The psalm is recorded in Psalm 27:1-14. Like the First Reading, this psalm is filled with praise because the Lord has rescued and protected David, the author of the psalm. As we look at David’s life, there were many times when his enemies had him near death, but the Lord delivered him from all dangers. David’s response? Praise, and on-going trust in the Lord’s faithfulness. Let us trust and sing praises to God!
All honor, glory, power, praise, and thanks be to You, O Lord, because You keep Your promises and rescue us from the dangers around us, especially the dangers of sin, death, and the devil. You have rescued us in Jesus. Let us praise and trust You now and into eternity. In Jesus we pray. Amen.
The Second Reading is 1 Corinthians 1:10-18. As 1 Corinthians unfolds, Paul immediately begins to deal with problems in that congregation; the first being that they were breaking up into groups who claimed better authority than the other groups. Paul told them not to break into these groups, but rather to remain unified as a congregation at the foot of the cross. It is Jesus Who unites us as brothers and sisters, sisters and brothers brought into His arms stretched out on the cross for our redemption.
Lord Jesus, keep us united in You as we kneel at the foot of Your cross. Let us keep our eyes fixed on You and not on things that would divide us. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
The Gospel is recorded in Matthew 4:12-25. In this passage we see the fulfillment of the prophecy from Isaiah in our First Reading: Jesus is the light Who leads us out of the darkness of sin and rebellion and He leads us back to God. He calls us to turn from sin through repentance, and then to follow Him, just as He called Simon and Andrew, James and John. He calls us to discipleship, seeing and hearing what He does, and then He sends us out to proclaim Him to the world and to bring the wholeness He embodies to all who are broken by the sin, evil, and pain of life.
Jesus, to You we give thanks and praise that You fulfilled the promises of God through the prophets, You bring light and life into our world. You call us to turn from sin and You bring us back to the heavenly Father through repentance. You call us to follow You, seeing and hearing what You do, and then You send us out to bring hope, healing, and life to the world through the proclamation of Your life, death, and resurrection. Bless our words and deeds, that they might be ways You bring others into Your kingdom. Amen.