Sunday, January 4, 2009
Sirach 24: 1 - 4, 8 - 12
Wisdom sings her own praises, before her own people she proclaims her glory; in the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, in the presence of his hosts she declares her worth: "From the mouth of the Most High I came forth, and mistlike covered the earth. In the highest heavens did I dwell, my throne on a pillar of cloud."
"Then the Creator of all gave me his command, and he who formed me chose the spot for my tent, saying, 'In Jacob make your dwelling, in Israel your inheritance.' Before all ages in the beginning, he created me, and through all ages I shall not cease to be. In the holy tent I ministered before him, and in Zion I fixed my abode. Thus in the chosen city he has given me rest, in Jerusalem is my domain. I have struck root among the glorious people, in the portion of the Lord, his heritage.
Psalms 147: 12 - 15, 19 - 20
Glorify the Lord O Jerusalem; praise your God O Zion. For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you. He has granted peace in your borders; with the best of wheat he fills you. He sends forth his command to the earth; swiftly runs his word!
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob, his statutes and his ordinances to Israel. He has not done thus for any other nation; his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
Ephesians 1: 3 - 6, 15 - 18
Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens! God chose us in him before the world began, to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love; he likewise predestined us through Christ Jesus to be his adopted sons - such was his will and pleasure - that all might praise the glorious favor he has bestowed on us in his beloved.
For my part, from the time I first heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the members of the church, I have never stopped thanking God for you and recommending you in my prayers. May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, grant you a spirit of wisdom and insight to know him clearly. May he enlighten your innermost vision that you may know the great hope to which he has called you, the wealth of his glorious heritage to be distributed among the members of the church.
John 1: 1 - 18
In the beginning was the Word; the Word was in God's presence, and the Word was God. He was present to God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being, and apart from him nothing came to be. Whatever came to be in him, found life, life for the light of men. The light shines on in darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it.
There was a man named John sent by God, who came as a witness to testify to the light, so that through him all men might believe - but only to testify to the light; for he himself was not the light. The real light which gives light to every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and through him the world was made, yet the world did not know who he was. To his own he came, yet his own did not accept him. Any who did accept him he empowered to become children of God.
These are they who believe in his name - who were begotten not by blood, nor by carnal desire, nor by man's willing it, but by God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we have seen his glory: the glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.
John testified to him by proclaiming: "This is he of whom I said,'The one who comes after me ranks ahead of me, for he was before me.'"
Of his fullness we have all had a share - love following upon love.
For while the law was given through Moses, this enduring love came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, ever at the Father's side who has revealed him.