CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP

Monday of Christmas I

The Feast of the Circumcision and Naming of Jesus

New Years Day (Civil) 

01 Jan 07

OUR MISSION

Our Mission is to heal wounds, to reunite that which has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way. - St. Francis of Assisi

A PRAYER BEFORE BIBLE READING (after St. Jerome; 420)

O Lord, you have given us your word for a light to shine upon our path.  Grant us so to meditate on that word, and to follow its teaching, that we may find in it the light that shines more and more until the perfect day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

LECTIONARY READINGS

Morning Prayer:  Psalm 18:1-30; Isaiah 60:13-end; John 1:35-42

Evening Prayer:  Psalm 45, 46; Ruth 1; Colossians 2:8-end

REFLECTION ON TODAY'S READINGS

The reading today from St. Paul's letter to the Colossians in Evening Prayer has much to commend to us.  It is incredibly easy to lose our focus on our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Rather, we tend to focus on other things like what kind of food we shouldn't eat, what kinds of drink we shouldn't drink, visions we may have, whether we worship on Saturday or Sunday, observe Christmas on 25 Dec or 7 Jan, etc, etc, etc.  It is so easy to become focused on those exterior things rather than on the interior circumcision of our heart.  There are many things about our faith that are means to an end, or that help us in our relationship with Christ.  Yet, we must avoid the temptation to treat those means as though they are the end themselves.  It is God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that we desire more than anything in the world.

In this passage St. Paul also alludes to the presence of conflicting religions that blur our vision of who Christ is, or replace our focus on Christ with something else.  There were Pagans, Gnostics of various kinds, and the non-Messianic Jewish community who were vying for everyone's attention in Paul's day.  Not much has changed even today.  We still have Pagans, Gnostics of various kinds, Cults of various kinds, etc., who offer a spirituality that will leave us empty.  It is only in Jesus Christ wherein we find Truth, Life, and the Way above all others.  He is "God-With-Us!" 

Greg

A NEW YEAR THOUGHT

Whoever is on a journey towards God goes from one beginning to another beginning. Will you be among those who dare to tell themselves: "Begin again! Leave discouragement behind! Let your soul live!"
- Brother Roger of Taize

PRAYER REQUESTS

President George W. Bush (USA); Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Canada); Prime Minister Tony Blair (United Kingdom); Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (United Kingdom & Canada); all leaders of the nations around the world; for peace among the nations; for the protection of all military men and women in the current conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq; that the hearts of those who would inflict terror might be softened and that their own injuries would be healed; that the conflict over nuclear arms in North Korea and Iran would be peacefully resolved; that the sectarian violence in Iraq would be healed; that the violence and terrorism in Darfur would come to an end and the restoration of relationships and healing would flourish; that peace might be sought between warring factions in Somalia; that the many people along the Gulf Coast of the United States who are still suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina would find resolution to their many needs;

For Prophet-President Steven Veazey, for the whole First Presidency, for the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, for the Seventy, for the Presiding Bishopric, for the Peace and Justice Ministries, and for all other ministries and priesthood ministers within the Church, that God would continue to guide this Church in boldly proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ; for the upcoming World Conference, that God would bless and guide us and prepare the whole Church to hear His Word and calling for this Church; for all Mission Centres throughout the world, that God would continue to bless the ministries therein;

For President John Van Der Walker, President of the Inland West Mission Centre; For Elder Bob Cadman, and the members of the Ogden Congregation; for High Priest Russell Shipley, and the members of the Salt Lake City Congregation; for the leadership and members of the Orem Congregation;  

Della whose health appears to be failing; Cecil, with Altzheimers; Rita, just diagnosed with Leukemia; for Lee who has an infected foot; for Betty, who is having serious problems with her back; for those who suffer with Cancer; for those who suffer with HIV/AIDS; for Dennis and Sue Barrett whose son recently passed away; for Margie who recently fell and broke her hip; for Barbara as she seeks a new job; for Stacy who is currently in jail; all who are physically or mentally infirm; for all paramedics, nurses, and doctors who provide life saving treatment and ministry to those they serve;

The homeless; the hungry; the imprisoned; the orphaned; widows and widowers; for all families, especially those families wherein relationships are stressed, and for families under spiritual attack by the forces of evil; that the peace of Christ might reign in all our hearts, and that this peace spread into the lives of our families, neighbours, communities, countries, and throughout the world;  for the protection of the unborn; the oppressed and the oppressor; for those who hate us;for those who do not know Jesus Christ;

THE COLLECT DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON

Lord Jesus Christ, your birth at Bethlehem draws us to kneel to wonder at heaven touching earth: accept our heartfelt praise as we worship you, our Saviour and our eternal God.  Amen.

THE COLLECT FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN CHRISTMAS 

Almighty God, who wonderfully created us in your own image and yet more wonderfully restored us through your Son Jesus Christ: grant that, as he came to share in our humanity, so we may share the life of his divinity; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.