Second Sunday of Christmas: Week of January 2, 2022
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: God of beginnings, you are with us as we start a new year. Guide us to turn toward you and share your light and love with other people. Amen.
Reflect on the Way of Love together: This week’s practice on the Way of Love is TURN. How will you turn toward God and God’s love in the coming year? How does Jesus help us turn toward God?
Adult and Small Child
Read: John 1:10-18
Reflect: Every family has its customs and traditions. In fact, that is probably true of any group of people. It is part of what makes it hard to walk into a new situation. One of the things that makes it easier to enter a new situation is having someone who can be the bridge, someone who knows the practices of the group and also knows you. They can guide you and let you know what to do. Jesus’ presence with us is that kind of bridge. Jesus is that someone who knows God’s ways and can help us to walk that way as well. John tells us that we have become children of God in a new way and that we have received “grace upon grace.” (John 1:16, NRSV) Something new is happening; we have encountered God in a new way and Jesus is there to show us that way, to help us to live by the love and grace that Jesus demonstrates to us, as a human living in our difficult and imperfect world. When things are difficult and confusing, we can turn to Jesus to find the way through, a guide to help us find God’s way in our world.
Reflect: When we don’t know which way to go and what to do, it is helpful to have someone with us who knows the way. Jesus came to show us how to live so that we can follows God’s way. While Jesus isn’t physically present, we can still hear his words and stories and they will help us find the way. Try this with someone you trust: put on a blindfold and have them tell you which way to walk around the room or out in the yard. Listen carefully and walk carefully. How was it to listen to someone without seeing them? Was it hard? Did you feel safe with them? Sometimes it is hard to hear or understand Jesus’ voice in our hearts, but he will always tell us the right way.
- Linnae Peterson
Adult and Elementary
Read: John 1:10-18
Reflect: Do you have a nightlight or did you when you were younger? Rooms can be really dark when it’s nighttime and the lights get turned off. The dark can feel big and scary. It feels like anything could be in the dark. And because we can’t see in the dark, we imagine everything that scares us and worries us is in that dark. Some adults never lose that fear of a dark room. Most do, though. But the world, even in the daytime, can still feel big and scary. It can feel like things that scare us or worry us are with us everywhere and all the time. And sometimes, they really are there. Sadness. Loneliness. People fighting one another. People who don’t get enough food or people who are homeless. That’s all in the world we live in.
God uses people like nightlights. You and me choosing to do good things. Being friends with lonely people. Giving food to hungry people. We shine the light of God in the world. Scariness and worries never go away but we can make them feel less big by doing good. With God’s help, we can make the world a little less dark.
Respond: Create a nightlight. Here is one example. As you create your nightlight, you might have a conversation about things you could choose to do in your life and in the world to help shine God’s light. Do you want to take canned vegetables to a food pantry? Talk to someone you go to school with who seems lonely? How could you choose to do good and be God’s light in the world?
- Patrick Kangrga
Adult and Youth
Read: John 1:10-18
Reflect: In this passage, we are introduced to a central theme: the identity of Jesus as a divine agent. We see that God came but was not recognized. This passage reveals that God is for all, and though sometimes this is clear, we still seem to miss this message. God send the Word, but it is not recognized.
Respond: Grab a piece of paper or a journal and write your thoughts about this prompt: How do you seek clarification? Have you misinterpreted a message? Why does the delivery of our messages matter?
- Luz Montes
Adult and Adults
Read: John 1:10-18
Reflect: This passage in John is describing Jesus becoming human on earth. “He was in the world” (John 1:10 NRSV) “and the word became flesh and lived among us.” (John 1:14 NRSV) This Scripture is celebrating the good things that have happened. Speaking of which...
Happy New Year! Or maybe still Merry Christmas. What about both? This is a fun time because as Christians we get to still be in Christmas time (this means you get to keep the tree and decorations out a little bit longer), but also secularly we’re celebrating the new year with fireworks and new year’s resolutions.
Respond: What would it be like for you to combine the magic of Christmas and new years by turning to God? Goals are meant to be SMART, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Write down your goal to be more dedicated to God; be specific. Add the word SMART to your page and decide how you are going to make all of those points. How are you going to get close to God; read scripture, experiment with new types of prayer? Set a deadline, make sure you can accomplish your goal in your set deadline. Take the opportunity of this special time of year to turn towards God by letting new goals bring you closer.
- Erin Sample