Abuse of the Innocent

Friday, January 10
Matthew 2

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


http://www.globible.com
1824 (oil on canvas), Cogniet, Leon (1794-1880)
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Rennes, France
Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art Library

The readings for this week mingle marvelously with each other in Epiphany themes. Today, return to the Magi story, this time linking it with the tragedy in the reaction of Herod. Evil resists God outlandishly, always harming the innocent. Consider the children who are victims of abuse, murder, and genocide.

As we begin reading Exodus as the Sabbath readings about this time, Matthew sees Jesus as a New Moses who will lead us out of the bondage in the “Egypts” of our lives. God’s eternal plan is that we be free from all “Pharaohs” or “Herods” who scramble to protect their power by destroying ours.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Following the sacred star v. 2
Opening my gifts for You v. 11
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 Epiphany Week, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We read the Gospel of Matthew, except during Advent, the Infancy Narratives of Luke.

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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.

Innovation in the Skies

Sunday, January 5
Matthew 2:1–12

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


Photo Courtesy – http://www.stmary-dallas.orghttp://www.stmary-dallas.org

Energy enters into a search for God. Pagan foreigners peer into the skies, seeking meaning to the new star they discover in the heavens. They leave everything to discover where it is leading. They follow the star shining in their hearts, as well as the one in the skies.

At polar opposites are Herod and the Jewish leaders. Nestled in complacency and inner blindness, they are not interested in God’s new King, but rather are anxious that he might overthrow the tables of their own power. Fear and hostility enter and possess them.

How are you when it comes to some new entry of God into your life? Are you open to search the inner skies of your own possibility for some innovation and direction there, or are you tempted to be your own “king,” resisting God’s reign in your life?

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
Following the sacred star v. 2
Star stopping over the child v. 9
Opening my gifts for You v. 11
The path away from Herod v. 12

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

This is Epiphany 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.

The First Week in Epiphany – Alphabyte “Frankincense”

Nick reads the Alphabyte.

Gift of the Magi in worship of their King:
     trees from Arabia offer resin resembling stone—
     rigid, resistant to change … apparently.
One would think that by pouring these pieces of earth onto hot coals,
     the fire would go out.
But no. The rocks melt into fire, into air,
     sending sizzling sweet-smelling smoke heavenward,
    those present ascending to spaces beyond the pull of earth.

Temperaments, moods, dispositions emanate from us either as incense
     inviting to worship lifting others up, or
     as black smoke from which others must flee.
Sit. Drop onto the hot coals of the Lord’s love for you.
Let go of what is rigid and rock-resistant within.
Blend your incense with the Word of life both swirling heavenward.
Rise. The day is fragrant because fire has transformed you.


Alphabytes are object meditations that follow the alphabet twice
through the fifty-two weeks in the year.