Bible readings for January 3, 2021

We have the unusual privilege of having the 2nd Sunday of Christmas this year.  This gives us the opportunity to listen to readings we don’t hear all the time.

Today’s First Reading is recorded in 1 Kings 3:4-15.  It is a record of king Solomon at the beginning of his reign.  God gave Solomon the opportunity to ask for anything he wanted.  Solomon asked for wisdom to govern God’s people, proclaiming that God had been faithful in keeping His promises to Solomon’s father, David.  God granted Solomon his wish of wisdom, and the wisdom of Solomon is legendary, even in our day.  

Notice that God also told Solomon that if he continued to walk in God’s ways that God would bless him as He had his father.  Initially it looked like Solomon would follow in his father’s example, but later in life he turned from the Lord, and disaster eventually followed.  Let us always follow the Lord, not turning from Him.

Holy Spirit, fill us with Your wisdom to keep our eyes on Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

The psalm reading, from 119:97-104, is recorded in the longest chapter of the Bible.  I would encourage you to read the whole psalm and notice the love the psalmist has for the word of God.  May we have the same love for and the same blessings from God’s word as the psalmist.

Holy Spirit, lead us more and more into the Word of God, Your Word is truth.  Amen.

The Second Reading, Ephesians 1:3-14, is an unusual one in Greek, it is one long sentence.  The translators of the Bible have broken it up, but it is still a little hard to read through.  Read through it a couple of times to get the flow of Paul’s message.  As you read through the passage, notice all that Paul says that God does for us, notice God’s great grace and mercy toward us in Jesus.  Paul’s, the Ephesians, and our response?  PRAISE!

Holy Spirit, clarify the Words of Scripture for us so that we can read and comprehend Your love for us, and lead us to praise!  Amen.

In today’s Gospel, Luke 2:40-52, we have another account of Jesus’ childhood, this time He was 12, and He and Mary and Joseph had gone to the Passover in Jerusalem to rejoice in God’s rescue of His people.  When it was time to leave, Jesus stayed behind.  Imagine the fear and frantic feelings of Mary and Joseph as they searched for Him.  Finally, on the third day, they went to the Temple (to look for Him, or to pray for God’s help?), and there He was, sitting with the teachers, who marveled at His wisdom and questions.  His parents were frantic as they looked for Jesus, but He is calmly sitting in His Father’s house.  If you had gotten lost as a 12-year-old, would your parents have found you sitting with the pastor in church asking questions?  (Any pastor worth his/her salt would have called the authorities long before 3 days had passed).  But Jesus had to be in His Father’s house.  Do we?

Holy Spirit, lead us to the Father’s house where we can hear, learn, ask questions, and grow in faith, hope, and love.  Amen.

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