The First Reading is Jeremiah 28:5-9. This passage exemplifies the problem of true and false prophecy, and to a larger extent true and false teaching. Obviously, this is not a new problem: true and false teaching and theology was a problem in Biblical times, as it is today. How do we distinguish between true and false teaching? One way is to hold up the prophecy or teaching in the light of what the Bible says: does the teaching or prophecy come from the Bible? Care must be taken here as well, because Biblical verses can be misused, as the devil did when tempting Jesus. Basically, does the teaching or prophecy conform to God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible? Grow in Biblical understanding and knowledge to help discern true and false teaching.
Holy Spirit, guide us in the truth, Your Word is truth. Keep us founded upon the truth of Jesus Christ, as He is the way, the truth, and the life. Amen.
The psalm is recorded in Psalm 119:153-160. This is a psalm in which some reference to God’s Word is in almost every verse. Notice how the psalmist loves the Word of God and is blessed through God’s Word. The Word of God became flesh in Jesus. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus and the revelation of God in the Bible, receiving our life and strength from Him.
Holy Spirit, keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, and continue to reveal God to us through the words of the Bible. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
The Second Reading is Romans 7:1-13. In this passage the apostle Paul replaces reliance on the Law as the means of our salvation with reliance on Jesus, Who for us is life and salvation. Let us trust in Jesus for life and salvation, He alone redeems us. Our reliance on our keeping of the Law will not lead to life, but only shows us our sinfulness; Jesus alone gives us life now and eternally.
Holy Spirit, as the Law shows us our sinfulness, we see our need of a Savior; continually show us Jesus so that we will grow in faith in Him as our only Lord and Savior. In His Name we pray. Amen.
The Gospel is recorded in Matthew 10:34-42. At Christmas time we hear the words of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth.” Jesus is born to be the Prince of Peace, and brings peace in His gentle and loving kingdom. However, the forces and powers of evil will not surrender to Him, and are in conflict with Him. In this passage Jesus warns not to let anything or anyone get in the way of our relationship with Him; being a disciple of Jesus sometimes means that we become at odds with even family members; there are many examples of Christians who have been cut off from family or friends when Jesus becomes Lord and Savior in their lives. Let us examine our lives and seek forgiveness and restoration where things of this life separate us from Jesus.
Holy Spirit, keep us rooted and grounded in Jesus. Keep Him as our Lord and Savior. When things seek to separate us from Him, bring us back to Him in repentance and faith. Amen.