Friday, 1 January 2021

Praying at Christmas with USPG:
8, Friday 1 January 2021

‘But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart’ (Luke 1: 19) … ‘Divine Teardrop’ by Peter Cassidy … part of his exhibition at the Wexford Festival in 2016 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Throughout Advent and Christmas this year, I am using the Prayer Diary of the Anglican Mission Agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) for my morning reflections each day. I am one of the contributors to the current USPG Diary, Pray with the World Church.

Before this day starts, I am taking a little time this morning for my own personal prayer, reflection and Scripture reading.

The theme of the USPG Prayer Diary this week (27 December 2020 to 2 January 2021) is ‘Introducing the International Year of Peace and Trust,’ which I introduced on Sunday, writing as a trustee of USPG and President of the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Friday 1 January 2021 (New Year’s Day, the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus):

Let us pray for all victims of anti-Semitism and an end to all forms of religious, ethnic, social and gender-based discrimination.

The Collect of the Day:

Almighty God,
whose blessed Son was circumcised
in obedience to the law for our sake
and given the Name that declares your saving love:
Give us grace faithfully to bear his Name,
to worship him in the freedom of the Spirit,
and to proclaim him as Saviour of the world;
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post-Communion Prayer:

Eternal God,
whose incarnate Son was given the name of Saviour:
Grant that we who have shared in this sacrament of our salvation
may live out our years
in the power of the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Luke 2: 15-21 (NRSVA):

15 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.’ 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 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.

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s morning reflection

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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