First Presbyterian Church of Merrillville
Monday, December 11, 2017
Go and Make Disciples!
 
 
 

2017–2018
Year B
 
 
 
 
ADVENT
 

 
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2017 | ADVENT
SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
YEAR B
             Old Testament       Isaiah 40:1–11
             Psalm       Psalm 85:1–2, 8–13
             New Testament       2 Peter 3:8–15a
             Gospel       Mark 1:1–8

Index of Readings

OLD TESTAMENT
Isaiah 40:1–11
1 Comfort, comfort my people,
      says your God.
      2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
      and cry to her
      that her warfare is ended,
      that her iniquity is pardoned,
      that she has received from the LORD’S hand
      double for all her sins.
      3 A voice cries:
      “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
      make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
      4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
      and every mountain and hill be made low;
      the uneven ground shall become level,
      and the rough places a plain.
      5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
      and all flesh shall see it together,
      for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
      6 A voice says, “Cry!”
      And I said, “What shall I cry?”
      All flesh is grass,
      and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
      7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
      when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
      surely the people is grass.
      8 The grass withers, the flower fades;
      but the word of our God will stand for ever.
      9 Get you up to a high mountain,
      O Zion, herald of good tidings;
      lift up your voice with strength,
      O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
      lift it up, fear not;
      say to the cities of Judah,
      “Behold your God!”
      10 Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
      and his arm rules for him;
      behold, his reward is with him,
      and his recompense before him.
      11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd,
      he will gather the lambs in his arms,
      he will carry them in his bosom,
      and gently lead those that are with young.
 
PSALM
Psalm 85:1–2, 8–13
      1 LORD, thou wast favorable to thy land;
      thou didst restore the fortunes of Jacob.
      2 Thou didst forgive the iniquity of thy people;
      thou didst pardon all their sin. [Selah]

      8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak,
      for he will speak peace to his people,
      to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
      9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
      that glory may dwell in our land.
      10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
      righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
      11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
      and righteousness will look down from the sky.
      12 Yea, the LORD will give what is good,
      and our land will yield its increase.
      13 Righteousness will go before him,
      and make his footsteps a way.
 
NEW TESTAMENT
2 Peter 3:8–15a
8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.
11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire! 13 But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
 
GOSPEL
Mark 1:1–8
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
      “Behold, I send my messenger before thy face,
      who shall prepare thy way;
      3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
      Prepare the way of the Lord,
      make his paths straight—”
4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
 
 
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2017 | ADVENT
THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
YEAR B
             Old Testament       Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11
             Psalm       Psalm 126 or Luke 1:46b–55
             New Testament       1 Thessalonians 5:16–24
             Gospel       John 1:6–8, 19–28

Index of Readings

OLD TESTAMENT
Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11
1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
      because the LORD has anointed me
      to bring good tidings to the afflicted;
      he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
      to proclaim liberty to the captives,
      and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
      2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor,
      and the day of vengeance of our God;
      to comfort all who mourn;
      3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
      to give them a garland instead of ashes,
      the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
      the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit;
      that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
      the planting of the LORD,
      that he may be glorified.
      4 They shall build up the ancient ruins,
      they shall raise up the former devastations;
      they shall repair the ruined cities,
      the devastations of many generations.

      8 For I the LORD love justice,
      I hate robbery and wrong;
      I will faithfully give them their recompense,
      and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
      9 Their descendants shall be known among the nations,
      and their offspring in the midst of the peoples;
      all who see them shall acknowledge them,
      that they are a people whom the LORD has blessed.
      10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
      my soul shall exult in my God;
      for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
      he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
      as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
      and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
      11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
      and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
      so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
      to spring forth before all the nations.
 
PSALM
Option A
Psalm 126
PSALM 126
A Song of Ascents.
      1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
      we were like those who dream.
      2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
      and our tongue with shouts of joy;
      then they said among the nations,
      “The LORD has done great things for them.”
      3 The LORD has done great things for us;
      we are glad.
      4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
      like the watercourses in the Negeb!
      5 May those who sow in tears
      reap with shouts of joy!
      6 He that goes forth weeping,
      bearing the seed for sowing,
      shall come home with shouts of joy,
      bringing his sheaves with him.
 
OR
Option B
Luke 1:46b–55
      46 And Mary said,
      “My soul magnifies the Lord,
      47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
      48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
      For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
      49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
      and holy is his name.
      50 And his mercy is on those who fear him
      from generation to generation.
      51 He has shown strength with his arm,
      he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
      52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
      and exalted those of low degree;
      53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
      and the rich he has sent empty away.
      54 He has helped his servant Israel,
      in remembrance of his mercy,
      55 as he spoke to our fathers,
      to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”
 
NEW TESTAMENT
1 Thessalonians 5:16–24
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray constantly, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit, 20 do not despise prophesying, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good, 22 abstain from every form of evil.
23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

GOSPEL
John 1:6–8, 19–28
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 They said to him then, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
 
 
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2017 | ADVENT
FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
YEAR B
On the same date: Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Eve
             Old Testament       2 Samuel 7:1–11, 16
             Psalm       Luke 1:46b–55 or Psalm 89:1–4, 19–26
             New Testament       Romans 16:25–27
             Gospel       Luke 1:26–38

Index of Readings

OLD TESTAMENT
2 Samuel 7:1–11, 16
1 Now when the king dwelt in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies round about, 2 the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” 3 And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart; for the LORD is with you.”
4 But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, 5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. 7 In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ 8 Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel; 9 and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house.
16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.’”

PSALM
Option A
Luke 1:46b–55
      46 And Mary said,
      “My soul magnifies the Lord,
      47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
      48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
      For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
      49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
      and holy is his name.
      50 And his mercy is on those who fear him
      from generation to generation.
      51 He has shown strength with his arm,
      he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
      52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
      and exalted those of low degree;
      53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
      and the rich he has sent empty away.
      54 He has helped his servant Israel,
      in remembrance of his mercy,
      55 as he spoke to our fathers,
      to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”
 
OR
Option B
Psalm 89:1–4, 19–26
      1 I will sing of thy steadfast love, O LORD, for ever;
      with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations.
      2 For thy steadfast love was established for ever,
      thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.
      3 Thou hast said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
      I have sworn to David my servant:
      4 ‘I will establish your descendants for ever,
      and build your throne for all generations.’” [Selah]
      19 Of old thou didst speak in a vision
      to thy faithful one, and say:
      “I have set the crown upon one who is mighty,
      I have exalted one chosen from the people.
      20 I have found David, my servant;
      with my holy oil I have anointed him;
      21 so that my hand shall ever abide with him,
      my arm also shall strengthen him.
      22 The enemy shall not outwit him,
      the wicked shall not humble him.
      23 I will crush his foes before him
      and strike down those who hate him.
      24 My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him,
      and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
      25 I will set his hand on the sea
      and his right hand on the rivers.
      26 He shall cry to me, ‘Thou art my Father,
      my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
 
NEW TESTAMENT
Romans 16:25–27
25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret for long ages 26 but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory for evermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
 
GOSPEL
Luke 1:26–38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
      32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
      and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
      33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
      and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?”
      35 And the angel said to her,
      “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
      and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
      therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
      the Son of God.
36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
 
 
 
 

CHRISTMAS
 

ON THE SAME DATE | CHRISTMAS
NATIVITY OF THE LORD
CHRISTMAS EVE—PROPER 1
YEARS ABC
On the same date: Fourth Sunday of Advent
             Old Testament       Isaiah 9:2–7
             Psalm       Psalm 96
             New Testament       Titus 2:11–14
             Gospel       Luke 2:1–14 (15–20)

Index of Readings

OLD TESTAMENT
Isaiah 9:2–7
      2 The people who walked in darkness
      have seen a great light;
      those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
      on them has light shined.
      3 Thou hast multiplied the nation,
      thou hast increased its joy;
      they rejoice before thee
      as with joy at the harvest,
      as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
      4 For the yoke of his burden,
      and the staff for his shoulder,
      the rod of his oppressor,
      thou hast broken as on the day of Midian.
      5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
      and every garment rolled in blood
      will be burned as fuel for the fire.
      6 For to us a child is born,
      to us a son is given;
      and the government will be upon his shoulder,
      and his name will be called
      “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
      7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
      there will be no end,
      upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom,
      to establish it, and to uphold it
      with justice and with righteousness
      from this time forth and for evermore.
      The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
 
PSALM
Psalm 96
PSALM 96
1 O sing to the LORD a new song;
      sing to the LORD, all the earth!
      2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
      tell of his salvation from day to day.
      3 Declare his glory among the nations,
      his marvelous works among all the peoples!
      4 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
      he is to be feared above all gods.
      5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols;
      but the LORD made the heavens.
      6 Honor and majesty are before him;
      strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
      7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
      ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
      8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
      bring an offering, and come into his courts!
      9 Worship the LORD in holy array;
      tremble before him, all the earth!
      10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!
      Yea, the world is established, it shall never be moved;
      he will judge the peoples with equity.”
      11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
      let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
      12 let the field exult, and everything in it!
      Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy
      13 before the LORD, for he comes,
      for he comes to judge the earth.
      He will judge the world with righteousness,
      and the peoples with his truth.
 
NEW TESTAMENT
Titus 2:11–14
11 For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, 12 training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, 13 awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
 
GOSPEL
Luke 2:1–14 (15–20)
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. 2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirini-us was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. 7 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; 11 for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
      14 “Glory to God in the highest,
      and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”
[
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; 18 and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
]
 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2017 | CHRISTMAS
NATIVITY OF THE LORD
CHRISTMAS DAY—PROPER 2
YEARS ABC
On the same date: Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Day—Proper 3
             Old Testament       Isaiah 62:6–12
             Psalm       Psalm 97
             New Testament       Titus 3:4–7
             Gospel       (Luke 2:1–7) 8–20

Index of Readings

OLD TESTAMENT
Isaiah 62:6–12
      6 Upon your walls, O Jerusalem,
      I have set watchmen;
      all the day and all the night
      they shall never be silent.
      You who put the LORD in remembrance,
      take no rest,
      7 and give him no rest
      until he establishes Jerusalem
      and makes it a praise in the earth.
      8 The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm:
      “I will not again give your grain
      to be food for your enemies,
      and foreigners shall not drink your wine
      for which you have labored;
      9 but those who garner it shall eat it
      and praise the LORD,
      and those who gather it shall drink it
      in the courts of my sanctuary.”
      10 Go through,
      go through the gates,
      prepare the way for the people;
      build up, build up the highway, clear it of stones,
      lift up an ensign over the peoples.
      11 Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth:
      Say to the daughter of Zion,
      “Behold, your salvation comes;
      behold, his reward is with him,
      and his recompense before him.”
      12 And they shall be called The holy people,
      The redeemed of the LORD;
      and you shall be called Sought out,
      a city not forsaken.
 
PSALM
Psalm 97
PSALM 97
1 The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice;
      let the many coastlands be glad!
      2 Clouds and thick darkness are round about him;
      righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
      3 Fire goes before him,
      and burns up his adversaries round about.
      4 His lightnings lighten the world;
      the earth sees and trembles.
      5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
      before the Lord of all the earth.
      6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
      and all the peoples behold his glory.
      7 All worshipers of images are put to shame,
      who make their boast in worthless idols;
      all gods bow down before him.
      8 Zion hears and is glad,
      and the daughters of Judah rejoice,
      because of thy judgments, O God.
      9 For thou, O LORD, art most high over all the earth;
      thou art exalted far above all gods.
      10 The LORD loves those who hate evil;
      he preserves the lives of his saints;
      he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
      11 Light dawns for the righteous,
      and joy for the upright in heart.
      12 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous,
      and give thanks to his holy name!
 
NEW TESTAMENT
Titus 3:4–7
4 but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, 6 which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

GOSPEL
(Luke 2:1–7) 8–20
[
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. 2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirini-us was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. 7 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
]
8 And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; 11 for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
      14 “Glory to God in the highest,
      and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; 18 and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
 
 
NATIVITY OF THE LORD
CHRISTMAS DAY—PROPER 3
YEARS ABC
On the same date: Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Day—Proper 2
             Old Testament       Isaiah 52:7–10
             Psalm       Psalm 98
             New Testament       Hebrews 1:1–4 (5–12)
             Gospel       John 1:1–14

Index of Readings

OLD TESTAMENT
Isaiah 52:7–10
      7 How beautiful upon the mountains
      are the feet of him who brings good tidings,
      who publishes peace,
      who brings good tidings of good,
      who publishes salvation,
      who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
      8 Hark, your watchmen lift up their voice,
      together they sing for joy;
      for eye to eye they see
      the return of the LORD to Zion.
      9 Break forth together into singing,
      you waste places of Jerusalem;
      for the LORD has comforted his people,
      he has redeemed Jerusalem.
      10 The LORD has bared his holy arm
      before the eyes of all the nations;
      and all the ends of the earth shall see
      the salvation of our God.
 
PSALM
Psalm 98
PSALM 98
A Psalm.
      1 O sing to the LORD a new song,
      for he has done marvelous things!
      His right hand and his holy arm
      have gotten him victory.
      2 The LORD has made known his victory,
      he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
      3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
      to the house of Israel.
      All the ends of the earth have seen
      the victory of our God.
      4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
      break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
      5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
      with the lyre and the sound of melody!
      6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
      make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
      7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
      the world and those who dwell in it!
      8 Let the floods clap their hands;
      let the hills sing for joy together
      9 before the LORD, for he comes
      to judge the earth.
      He will judge the world with righteousness,
      and the peoples with equity.
 
NEW TESTAMENT
Hebrews 1:1–4 (5–12)
1 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs.
[
5 For to what angel did God ever say,
      “Thou art my Son,
      today I have begotten thee”?
Or again,
      “I will be to him a father,
      and he shall be to me a son”?
6 And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says,
      “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
7 Of the angels he says,
      “Who makes his angels winds,
      and his servants flames of fire.”
8 But of the Son he says,
      “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,
      the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom.
      9 Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
      therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee
      with the oil of gladness beyond thy comrades.”
10 And,
      “Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning,
      and the heavens are the work of thy hands;
      11 they will perish, but thou remainest;
      they will all grow old like a garment,
      12 like a mantle thou wilt roll them up,
      and they will be changed.
      But thou art the same,
      and thy years will never end.”
]

GOSPEL
John 1:1–14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God; 3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
9 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. 11 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
 
 
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2017 | CHRISTMAS
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS:  HOLY FAMILY
YEAR B
             Old Testament       Isaiah 61:10–62:3
             Psalm       Psalm 148
             New Testament       Galatians 4:4–7
             Gospel       Luke 2:22–40

Index of Readings

OLD TESTAMENT
Isaiah 61:10–62:3
      10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
      my soul shall exult in my God;
      for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
      he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
      as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
      and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
      11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
      and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
      so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
      to spring forth before all the nations.
Chapter 62
1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
      and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
      until her vindication goes forth as brightness,
      and her salvation as a burning torch.
      2 The nations shall see your vindication,
      and all the kings your glory;
      and you shall be called by a new name
      which the mouth of the LORD will give.
      3 You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
      and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
 
PSALM
Psalm 148
PSALM 148
1 Praise the LORD!
      Praise the LORD from the heavens,
      praise him in the heights!
      2 Praise him, all his angels,
      praise him, all his host!
      3 Praise him, sun and moon,
      praise him, all you shining stars!
      4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
      and you waters above the heavens!
      5 Let them praise the name of the LORD!
      For he commanded and they were created.
      6 And he established them for ever and ever;
      he fixed their bounds which cannot be passed.
      7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
      you sea monsters and all deeps,
      8 fire and hail, snow and frost,
      stormy wind fulfilling his command!
      9 Mountains and all hills,
      fruit trees and all cedars!
      10 Beasts and all cattle,
      creeping things and flying birds!
      11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
      princes and all rulers of the earth!
      12 Young men and maidens together,
      old men and children!
      13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
      for his name alone is exalted;
      his glory is above earth and heaven.
      14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
      praise for all his saints,
      for the people of Israel who are near to him.
      Praise the LORD!
 
NEW TESTAMENT
Galatians 4:4–7
4 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.

GOSPEL
Luke 2:22–40
22 And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
      29 “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,
      according to thy word;
      30 for mine eyes have seen thy salvation
      31 which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
      32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
      and for glory to thy people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; 34 and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
      “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel,
      and for a sign that is spoken against
      35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also),
      that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanu-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, 37 and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
 
Revised Common Lectionary. (2009). Bellingham, WA: Faithlife.
 
Revised Common Lectionary. (2009). Bellingham, WA: Faithlife.