“Evergreens” – An Alphabyte

Nick reads the Alphabyte.

There are a few trees that defiantly resist the choke-hold of the cold,
squeezing away the green of summer.
They are curved into wreathes twisted into garlands,
clustered as centers for the table.
We invite one to visit us, wrenching it from what would have been
its never changing place, asking it to spend its final days
as a member of our family, reminding us of the Life
that has come to the world in Jesus.
When it’s all decorated with lights and ornaments of memory
spend time alone with this Christmas guest.

Recall the places and trees of the past. Welcome feelings that well up.
They are—like the branches—something ever-green inside of you,
memories ever-alive, seeking to be expressed for the deeper healings.
And when the season is past, thank the tree—no longer evergreen—

as it takes its place with all its sister trees
whose leaves have long turned brown upon the ground,
making next summer even more green than ever.

Alphabytes are object meditations
that move through the alphabet two times
in the course of the fifty-two weeks in the year.
“Evergreens” introduces Christmas Week:
winter in the north, summer in the south.
To view all of them, see the menu option Alphabytes

Ministry Unfolds

Sunday, December 29
Matthew 2:13–23

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Caravaggio “Rest on Flight to Egypt’ (detail) 1596-97
Oil on canvas, width of detail 48 cm Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome
Visit the Web Gallery of Art http://wga.hu

Joseph, a dream, and Jesus—again we find meaning in relating this story to the saga of the patriarch, Joseph, read on Saturdays.
Today’s reading is the sequel to the account of the Magi and Herod proclaimed next week on Epiphany Sunday. We read of the aftermath of Herod’s rage in the terrible massacre of the Holy Innocents and the safe refuge of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in Egypt. From the very beginning, Jesus is one with his people, at first protected in Egypt, then delivered from the slavery that would develop.
Follow the journey of the Holy Family to and from Egypt; join them as they settle in Nazareth for the long, quiet years of the presence of God in Jesus. He becomes ready for the saving ministry that will unfold.

As you quietly live each day, God continues to prepare you for your unique ministry that is unfolding.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
With the Holy Family v. 14
Lord, heal the hurts of mothers v. 18
Obeying Your sacred call v. 20
Joining You in Nazareth v. 23

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is Christmas Week, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.
Year A is dedicated to the Gospel ofLuke.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.