Welcome to your online worship from St. Mark’s for Sunday, January 7, 2024.
Thank you to the Rock Solid Youth at St. Mark’s for hosting our New Year’s Eve Brunch last Sunday after the special 10am service. It was a great event that helped us start a new year together in community and companionship.
The message today explores the parallels between the joy of Christmas gift-giving and God’s continuous revelation of love.
Today’s Opening Sentence
We have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him. – Matthew 2.2
Today’s Reading – Matthew 2:1-12
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ”
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.1
Your Online Message and Prayers
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Reflection questions for the week:
- Reflect on Revelation. How can you intentionally seek moments of revelation in your daily life, much like the joyous unveiling of a Christmas gift? Consider activities or practices that help you connect with the continuous revelation of God’s love.
- Identifying Brokenness. In what areas of your life do you find yourself hiding brokenness out of shame or fear? Reflect on how embracing vulnerability and authenticity can lead to healing and transformation.
- Action for Transformation. Think about a situation in your community or the world where brokenness is being concealed, similar to the examples mentioned in the sermon. What small action can you take to contribute to genuine transformation and reveal God’s love in that situation?
- Living as a Guiding Star. Consider one practical way you can act as a “guiding star” in your relationships or community, leading others towards the truth revealed by God. How can your words and deeds reflect the fullness of Jesus Christ’s message in your daily interactions?
This week music is again provided by Ryan Van Dijk, our Music Director. Thank you to Ryan for his ministry of music!
A continued reminder that if you are at all uncomfortable being in-person for worship, or if you are not feeling well, please join us here online.
Thank you again for joining with your parish family in our online worship today.
Find out how you can support our ministry and good work in the community here.
God Bless you and have a blessed week. Be well!
The Rev’d Canon Rob Park
- Scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.