Readings and Devotions for December 14-20, 2014

Gods Story

Devotion: Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.

Pray: Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.
God of trust, you placed your precious son, Jesus, into the hands of Joseph and Mary. Place your trust in us, too, that we will care for all your beloved children who walk upon the earth, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Reflect: Reflect on the key verse from Sunday’s reading.

Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” Matthew 1:23

Study: Study the reading and consider the background.
The book of Matthew was written about 80 years after Jesus walked the earth. Early Christians were still working out how they were going to show up in the world; whether they would behave more like Jews or more like Gentiles. Matthew speaks to both perspectives, pointing out that what’s important is not so much how people behave, but how God acts in the world.

God sent God’s son, Jesus, into the world to be God in the world. Jesus bridged the gap between God and humanity so that nothing could separate us from the presence of God.

Read: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. After the reading, ask the follow-up questions.

Read about God’s covenant with Abraham and David, and the promise of Immanuel to the people of Israel.

Sunday, Matthew 1:18-25, Jesus as Immanuel

Monday, Matthew 1:1-7, Genealogy of Jesus

Tuesday, Genesis 15:1-21, God’s Covenant with Abram

Wednesday, Genesis 17:1-27, A Sign of God’s Covenant with Abraham

Thursday, 2 Samuel 7:1-17, God’s Covenant with David

Friday, Isaiah 7:10-17, A Sign of Immanuel

Saturday, Isaiah 7:18-25, A Sign of Immanuel

What has God promised? How has God been faithful to God’s promises?

Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”

  • What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
  • What difference might it make to realize God made a covenant with the community of humanity, rather than with individuals?
  • How does Immanuel show up in your life?

Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.
Gather your entire household together for a low-stress meal (other than your planned holiday meal). If you live alone, invite a friend over. Set aside and inform the household of a period of time you will be together so that you are not rushed. Set the table. Use your best dishes. Light candles (unless you have very little ones). Say grace. No electronics at the table. Talk to each other. Linger over dessert. Slow down and enjoy the time together.

Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.
God with us, we rejoice as we hear your word. Thank you for sending Jesus. Amen.

Copyright © 2014 Clergy Stuff.. Used and adapted with Permission. Find more at Blessing written by Pr. Chip Borgstadt. Scripture quotations from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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