January – 2017

January 1 – Second Sunday of Christmastide
Psalm 8.4-5 (CEV)
“What are human beings that you think about them; what are human beings that you pay attention to them? You’ve made them only slightly less than divine, crowning them with glory and grandeur.”

Matthew 2.13-15, 19-21 (NRSV)
“…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.’ 14Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, 15and remained there until the death of Herod…
19When 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.’ 21Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.”

Matthew 25.35-36, 40 (NRSV)
“[Jesus said], ‘I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”

January 8 – Baptism of Jesus Sunday
The Wisdom of Billy Sunday
“Religion needs a baptism of horse sense.”

The Wisdom of Max Lucado
“Baptism separates the tire kickers from the car buyers.”

Matthew 3.13-17 (NRSV)
“Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ 15 But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now…’
Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’”

January 15 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday
The Wisdom of Martin Luther
“To preach Christ is to feed the soul…”

The Wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We need to pledge ourselves anew to the cause of Christ. We must capture the spirit of the early church. Wherever the early Christians went, they made a triumphant witness for Christ. Whether on the village streets or in the city jails, they daringly proclaimed the good news of the gospel.”

John 1.32-34 (NIV)
“John gave this testimony: ‘I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on [Jesus]. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me – The [one] on whom you see the spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit – 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.’”

January 22
Psalm 27.4 (ISV)
“I have asked one thing from the LORD; it is what I really seek: that I may remain in the LORD’s Temple all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD; and to inquire in [God’s] Temple.”

Matthew 4.12, 17-23 (The Living Bible, adapted)
“When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left Judea and returned home to Nazareth in Galilee…
17 From then on, Jesus began to preach, ‘Turn…to God, for the [Realm] of Heaven is near.’
18 One day as he was walking along the beach beside the Lake of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—out in a boat fishing with a net [because that’s what they did for a living].
19 Jesus called out, ‘Come along with me and I will show you how to fish for the souls of [people]!” 20 And they left their nets at once and went with him.
21 A little farther up the beach he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their nets; and he called to them to come too. 22 At once they stopped their work and…went with him.
23 Jesus traveled all through Galilee…preaching the Good News about the [Realm] of Heaven. And he healed every kind of sickness and disease.”

January 29
The Wisdom of C.S. Lewis
“When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”

The Wisdom of Elizabeth Gilbert
“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.”

Matthew 5.2-11 (NAB)
[Jesus] began to teach them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kin-dom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
6 Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kin-dom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for…thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”


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