Each Monday we publish Sunday's Coming, an email-only post on the upcoming readings, written by our current Living by the Word columnist.
Proper 1: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)
Proper 2: Isaiah 62:6-12; Psalm 97; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:(1-7), 8-20
Proper 3: Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12); John 1:1-14
In my lectionary column on Luke 2:1-4, I focus on the theme of hope. Whenever I think about hope, I remember the story of Rabbi Hugo Gryn. He was the senior rabbi at the West London Synagogue when he died almost ten years ago.
The holy family didn’t meet the ideal either
I don’t know what a perfect first-century family looked like, but I’m certain that Joseph and Mary didn’t qualify.
In the 12th century, a Benedictine nun had a vision of Jesus’ humanity. It couldn’t have happened on a better night.
Luke 2:1–14 (15–20)
According to Google Maps, it would take 34 hours to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem on foot. The question for Luke in this journey of two peasants is where hope might be found.
So tonight we carol again squintingat words by candlelight: betwixtan ox and a silly poor ass,and (louder) mortal flesh keep silence.Animal warmth in this darkness risesamong us with each singer’s breath, as shadowssuggest great slumbering beastswhose fur brushes us with peace and easesour way to believe Incarnatus est.Bodies and beast-shadows sway and grow still.No one startles as candleflames tongue air that now seems alive. Breathing. Blessed.
Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.
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