*See below for General Instructions
Sermon and Lectionary December 27
God Gives Power, Grace and Truth to Those Who Trust
What does the incarnation of God in the person of Jesus Christ mean to you personally? to the world? How did Christ reveal his glory to his disciples? to you today? What does it mean to you that we were given “power to become children of God?” Spend a few minutes in silence after reading Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians on page 12 of the Near Resource booklet, praying that prayer for yourself and for someone else.
The prophet Isaiah was an encouragement to God’s people. Jesus used the words in 61:1-2a to describe himself in the synagogue in Nazareth. In Isaiah 61:10-11, what are the gifts of God that are being celebrated? Which descriptive phrases encourage you the most? Read the Prayer of Saint Francis found on page 13 of the Near Resource booklet. Write down ways that you can be an encouragement to the LCPC church family and to others today.
The psalmist calls all thing in heaven and earth to praise God. Why should we praise God? How can you praise God during the pandemic? Sing or pray the prayer by Hillsong United on Near page 20, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail.)” See the description of a Gratitude Prayer on p. 37 of Near and write a gratitude prayer.
Paul believes that the Jewish religious law is bondage, but that in Christ we are under grace, redeemed and adopted as children. What is the difference between living by religious rules and living by grace in your life? How does being adopted as a child of God help you understand grace? What do you want to say to your “Abba” (or “Daddy”) Father God?
Many Jews at the time were expecting a Messiah/Savior who would save them from Roman rule; others were looking for a savior to save them from sickness and hardship. Read Matthew 1:21. What does Matthew say Jesus was born to save? Reflect on the Traditional Prayer of Confession on page 13 of the Near booklet, reflecting on and confessing the sins that Jesus came to save us from.