Readings and Devotions for January 4-10, 2015

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 grief and hope, you sent your son, Jesus, into a broken world. His presence brought hope of peace and healing to all humankind. Bring healing and peace to our world today, for the glory of Jesus Christ our savior. Amen.

Reflect: Reflect on the key verse from Sunday’s reading.
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.”  Matthew 2:13

Study: Study the reading and consider the background.
Sometime within the first two years of Jesus’ birth, King Herod was alerted to the presence of a baby who was born destined to be king. To ensure the baby king would never rule, King Herod had all children under two killed.

But Herod would not touch Jesus. An angel of God warned Joseph in a dream to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt, where they would be safe from King Herod. They remained in Egypt until King Herod died. Again, an angel came to Joseph in a dream to announce it was safe to return to their homeland. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus settled in Nazareth.

God speaks to us in many ways. To Joseph, God spoke in a dream. Often God speaks to us through other people and events. Other times God speaks through stories, sermons, or Bible readings. Sometimes God speaks in the still, small voice inside of us that we hear through prayer and meditation.

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

Follow the stories of God’s people in Egypt.

Sunday, Matthew 2:13-23, Flight to Egypt

Monday, Psalm 11:1-3, Psalm

Tuesday, Exodus 1:8-22, Israelites are Oppressed

Wednesday, Exodus 2:1-11, Birth of Moses

Thursday, Exodus 12:29-32, Death of the Firstborn

Friday, Hosea 11:1-12, A Promise Out of Egypt

Saturday, Jeremiah 31:15-17, Rachel Laments Her Children

What does it say about Jesus that his story looks like the story of Moses, whom the Jews honored and revered as holy?

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 geographic locations hold special meaning to those in your community? What makes those places special? How do you celebrate those places?
  • Reflect on where you anticipate your life’s journey will take you in the coming year. What are you anxious about? What are you looking forward to?

Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.

Plan a trip to a special location (it doesn’t have to be far) to celebrate a special milestone. What will you do while you are there? Who will go with you? How will you honor the milestone?

Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.
God who works in mysterious ways, speak faith to us when understanding is hard. Speak trust when pain is great. Amen.

Copyright © 2014 Clergy Stuff.. Used and adapted with Permission. Find more at www.ClergyStuff.com. 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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