First Sunday after Christmas

First Sunday after Christmas
December 26, 2010: PRAYER Isaiah 63:7-9; Psalm 148 Hebrews 2:10-18; Matthew 2:13-23

Isaiah 63:7-9:
“I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord,
the praiseworthy acts of the Lord,
because of all that the Lord has done for us,
and the great favor to the house of Israel
that he has shown them according to his mercy,
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
8 For he said, ‘Surely they are my people,
children who will not deal falsely’
and he became their savior
9 in all their distress.
It was no messenger or angel
but his presence that saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

Matthew 2:13-23: “Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ 14 Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’

16 When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:

18 ‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’

19 When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, 20‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.’ 21 Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. 23 There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, ‘He will be called a Nazorean.”

First Sunday after Christmas Comment: I am a person who takes dreams seriously. I even take the leap of faith to say, “I believe God speaks to us through our dreams.” God may stir up from our unconsciousness, imprints of ‘issues’ we need to resolve. These imprints rise to the surface in a manner that is rarely logical. I believe they are not illogical, but symbolic. Dreams can make us feel that we are travelling between parallel universes. Perhaps we are!

I also use the symbols as prompts for prayer. “LORD,” I ask, “What are you saying to me?” God may speak directly to our souls like God did with Joseph. Clearly Joseph understood the meaning of his dream. He had practice. God used a dream to convince him that he should marry Mary in spite of the fact that she was pregnant and not by him. This time the stakes were high and I believe that Joseph was enlightened about who this child was. So Joseph was obedient one more time.

Jesus, the infant grew to be our Savior. He left the comfort of the cradle to fulfill his destiny on a cross. Nailed to that cross, Jesus took on the sin of humanity. He died to make redemption available to those spirits of anger, rage and greed that would murder innocent children.

Jesus was buried in a tomb of stone. On the third day, neither cradle, cross nor tomb could hold back our Savior. Jesus rose from the dead, to become the rock of our Salvation to prove the life is and always will be more powerful than death.

“I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the praiseworthy acts of the Lord because of all that the Lord has done for us…” Isaiah 62:9a

Christmas Season Blessings
Rev Julia
©December 22, 2010

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