December 27, 2015 – Growing up with Jesus

First Sunday after Christmas   December 27, 2015   Psalm 148, 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26; Luke 2:21-40, 41-52   Growing up with Jesus ************************************** Unto us a child is born… just two short days ago. Already he’s almost a teenager. Tomorrow he’ll be grown up… and gone. Luke is the gospel that tells us the most about the birth of Jesus, and the only gospel that tells us anything about the years between his birth and the start of his public ministry. In our readings today, we see infant Jesus, raised in the faith from the womb, his birth greeted by angels – now presented in the temple according to the law of the Lord. This family is deeply rooted and grounded in Godly ways. Mary and Joseph know the word of God; know the verse from Proverbs that says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Now as they present their infant son to God in the temple, Jesus is recognized immediately by two elderly prophets of Israel, Simeon and Anna. Luke gave us the first original Advent hymns, in the songs of Mary (her Magnificat) and of Zechariah, both of which are in our hymnals to this day. Luke gives us the material for our favorite Christmas hymns, in his telling of the angels’s proclamation of the birth and the response of shepherds and the holy family. Now, a few days later, Simeon gives us the first real after-Christmas carol, singing “my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” Simeon also accurately predicts Jesus will be causing the rising and falling of many in Israel – and a sword will metaphorically pierce his mother’s heart… Anna, the prophet, also recognizes Jesus as Messiah, the promised one of Israel, and tells all within hearing the good news. The name Anna is actually Hannah in Greek, the same name as the mother of Samuel, who prays in the temple for a son and pledges her first born to the Lord. (We heard their story a few weeks ago.) Now we get the update to that story, hearing how Hannah brings new clothing every year to young Samuel, and as we’ve heard in our reading from First Samuel: “Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and with people.” So when we hear in our gospel reading: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor” – we recognize the link to the older biblical story – of a child presented to God in the temple. We know we’re continuing in a story that began many generations before us… And here in our last reading, Jesus is already twelve, going on thirty. He’s gone with his family to celebrate the festival of Passover in Jerusalem. (As, we’re told, his family does every year.) On the journey home his parents notice they haven’t seen Jesus all day. They search for him, first, among family and friends. (Villagers often traveled together for safety and companionship.) When he’s nowhere to be found, they return to Jerusalem, anxiously...

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Week of December 27, 2015 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, Dec. 27th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Tuesday, Dec. 29th: 5:00 PM Wedding Friday, Jan. 1, 2016 Church Office Closed Sunday, Jan. 3rd: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Monday, Jan. 4th:    6:00 PM Slow Church Discussion Group at the Goux residence THE CHURCH OFFICE will be open on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00am to 1:00pm this week, and closed on Friday. THE 2016 ALTAR FLOWER CHART has been posted. Please sign up! PHOTOS NEEDED: Do you have any photos of recent church events? (Cookie Walk, Caroling, UMW Potluck, Thanksgiving Dinner, etc.) We’d love to have them! Please submit photos on a CD or email them to the church office. We like to have up-to-date photos on our website and Facebook page. Thank you! THE DEADLINE FOR THE JANUARY/FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER is Tuesday, January 19th. Please have any calendar dates and articles you would like to be included into the church office by 9:00am on that day. Thank you.  ...

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