Sunday, Jan 1, 2017: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


Old Testament: Numbers (6:22-27)


The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites:  You shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.


  • These verses highlight God’s love for Israel.




The Response: Psalm 8


1   O Lord our Governor, *

     how exalted is your Name in all the world!

2   Out of the mouths of infants and children *

     your majesty is praised above the heavens.

3   You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries, *

     to quell the enemy and the avenger.

4   When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, *

     the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,

5   What is man that you should be mindful of him? *

     the son of man that you should seek him out?

6   You have made him but little lower than the angels; *

     you adorn him with glory and honor;

7   You give him mastery over the works of your hands; *

     you put all things under his feet:

8   All sheep and oxen, *

     even the wild beasts of the field,

9   The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, *

      and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.

10  O Lord our Governor, *

     how exalted is your Name in all the world!


  • First hymn of praise.
  • The opening and closing verses are the same.
  • The babbling of the infants is also a form of praising God.
  • Why should God bother with man as he is very transient.
  • Why should he bother with man as compared to the magnificence of this creation.
  • God has made man “little Gods” to care for creation.
  • This is the only Psalm completely to God.




The Epistle: Galatians (4:4-7)


When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.


  • These verses are sometimes used on Trinity Sunday.
  • The “Spirit” in Paul’s thinking is the Spirit of Jesus.
  • “Abba” can be translated as “Daddy.”




The Gospel: Luke (2:15-21)


When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.


  • Three masses were used in the olden days.
  • These verses are the first mass plus some additional verses.
  • We do not know who the “all” were, who were amazed.
  • “Words” can be translated as words and things.
  • In Jewish tradition, circumcision was performed on the eighth day when the child was named. 
  • In Luke (1:59) a parallel story is crafted about John the Baptist.
  • Jesus –> Joshua –> means “Yahweh saves”
  • Luke does not reveal who gives Jesus his name.