Here is the link to this Sunday’s lessons. We hope you will find them a useful resource.
Here are questions for us to prayerfully consider:
This verse was interpreted in the Gospel of Matthew (1:23) and in the early church as foretelling the miraculous conception of Jesus in Mary by the Holy Spirit. We recite this belief in the Creeds of the Church. Through it we acknowledge that God does intervene in human affairs for our good in ways we do not understand. What do these ancient interpretations and beliefs mean for us today? Do we believe God intervenes in our lives for our good in ways we do not understand?
Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18
This psalm can be helpful for us when we feel abandoned by God. The “bad” feelings we may have are not unique—they have been experienced before, including as recorded here by the psalmist. When we are sad or angry or vulnerable, does it help to know this? Can you imagine using this psalm to channel how you feel when you are at a low point in your life? What hope or comfort is offered in these words?
Paul addresses the members of the church in Rome as “God’s beloved.” Do we feel that way about ourselves? What might change in how we feel about ourselves and our fellow members here at Christ Church if we remember and believe that we are “God’s beloved”?
This passage is sometimes known as Matthew’s version of the Christmas story. The one most of us know from Christmas Eve and pageants (and even from Linus) focuses more on Mary and the shepherds and angels. Matthew’s version is quiet and personal. Joseph gets information about Mary being pregnant (we’re not sure from whom); and then he gets more information from an angel through a dream that this is part of God’s plan. The first part gave Joseph a moral choice and he chose kindness; the second part gave him a command and he chose the obedience of faith. In these choices, Joseph serves as our example. What information have you received recently? What was the source? How did you respond?