As we celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas, our gospel today confronts us with the death of innocent children at the hands of Herod. The birth of Christ does not remove the power of evil from our world, but its light gives us hope as we walk with all the “holy innocents” of past generations and today who have suffered unjustly. In our gathering around word and meal, God continues to redeem us, lift us up, and carry us as in days of old.
Click on either the picture above or the following link to access the January 1, 2023 Live-Stream Worship Service:
The Lessons: (Link to the Readings)
First Reading: Isaiah 63:7-9
God does not delegate divine intervention to a messenger or an angel. God’s own presence brings salvation. The prophet and all who read these words join in celebrating God’s gracious deeds. God trusts that God’s people will not act falsely.
Psalm: Psalm 148 The splendor of the LORD is over earth and heaven. (Ps. 148:13)
Second Reading: Hebrews 2:10-18
Through Jesus’ suffering and death, the trail to eternal salvation has been blazed for us. We do not fear death, because he has conquered the power of death. Thus Christ, our merciful and faithful high priest, has the final say over the destiny of our lives.
Gospel: Matthew 2:13-23
In a dream, Joseph is warned to flee to Egypt to protect the infant Jesus from the jealousy of Herod.
O Lord God, you know that we cannot place our trust in our own powers. As you protected the infant Jesus, so defend us and all the needy from harm and adversity, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen