Resting with Assurance

The Sunday after Christmas
Luke 2:22-40

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Simeon’s song of praise. Aert de Gelder 1645-1727

Themes of old and new weave themselves through the infancy stories of Jesus in Luke. The aged Zechariah and Elizabeth are types of the ancient longing, seen next to the young Mary and Joseph. Now it is Simeon and Anna contrasted with Mary and Joseph who arrive to present Jesus in the Temple. Faithful Simeon is there and Anna, who spent eighty-four years of her widowhood praying constantly in the Temple for the coming of the Messiah. The Holy Spirit tells them that the quiet, gentle couple arriving this day is the answer to their deepest prayer.

Old and new meet; patience and joy embrace. The Song of Simeon sweetly lifts itself every night as those in monasteries bid farewell to a day of grace and fall asleep. May you rest assured that the Lord has indeed come, a fact that the Holy Spirit gives to you right now. Receive the child in the temple of your heart and rest.


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from The Revised Common Lectionary.


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Jesus Comes to Stay

Friday of the Fourth Week in Advent
Luke 2:1-20

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Correggio The Nativity (Holy Night) 1528-30

“No room for them in the inn.” Francis of Assisi in the fourteenth century contemplated this fact, beginning the tradition of meditations on the manger with stable and animals as an expression of the poverty of Jesus’ birth. While Luke would agree, there are two further points he wants to bring to our silent, prayerful attention.

First, there was no room for Mary and Joseph in the inn, because Jesus did not just come for a visit to stay awhile, as we do when we stop at a motel. Jesus came to stay!

Second, Mary and Joseph laid Jesus in a manger, the place where animals eat. Jesus rests for the first time in a place reminding us that he would become our food one day, the day before he rested on another wooden framed structure—the cross.


Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This year, we read the Gospel of St. Luke,except during Lent and with a few other exceptions.


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Conceiving the Word

The Fourth Sunday in Advent
Luke 1:26-38

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


The Annunciation – Murillo 1660-65

The angel Gabriel’s exalted words to Mary would not have happened without her permission. God does not impose God’s will on anyone. “Let it be to me according to your word,” says Mary. She gives permission for God to act in her in the most extraordinary manner possible. In the quiet of Mary’s soul, God shapes the deepest designs for redemption. She says “Yes.” The Son of God takes flesh in her womb.

The same gift of conceiving the Word can happen to you; you will need to give God the same permission as Mary did.

Ponder this passage carefully and let the Holy Spirit prompt you to say with your whole being, “Let it be to me according to Your Word.”


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from The Revised Common Lectionary.


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Son-Light Each Day

Friday of the Third Week in Advent
Luke 1:57-80

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

There are three songs in two chapters: what a way to begin a Gospel! The first is the song of Zechariah in today’s reading; the second is the song of Mary we considered last Friday; the final one is the song of Simeon in 2:29-32. Religious communities have been singing these songs for centuries as part of morning, evening, and night prayer.

The song of Zechariah is the first sound of praise that flows from his lips after he was struck dumb. After the silence of the night, a faith-filled praying of this song will have you begin your day aware of God’s power. God is faithful to you now, just as in past ages. You will be “the child” to go before him to prepare the way for Jesus—the bright “Son-Light” for others in your day.


Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This year, we read the Gospel of St. Luke,except during Lent and with a few other exceptions.


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Christ Made Greater

Friday of the Second Week in Advent
Luke 1:26-56

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

Just as darkness and light are set against each other in this season, so the high and glorious words of Angel Gabriel contrast with the humble, receptive, gentle words of Mary. She makes her decision: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord!” God takes flesh in her womb because of her “Yes.”

Mary and Elizabeth meet, as well as the children in their wombs. Mary combines humility with exaltation in her song, the Magnificat: “My soul magnifies the Lord.”

A magnifying glass makes bigger what you see through it. Mary makes God larger to Elizabeth and us. How can you ready yourself so that when others look at you, they see Christ within and beyond you, made larger, greater, and clearer?


Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This year, we read the Gospel of St. Luke,except during Lent and with a few other exceptions.


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Astounding News

Friday of the First Week in Advent
Luke 1:1-25

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

Once a year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, a Jewish priest would be privileged to offer incense in the Holy of Holies, the innermost sanctuary of the Temple. Lots were drawn to see who it would be. In today’s passage, they fell to Zechariah. The moment of a lifetime had come.

He is there to atone for his people, and to pray longingly for the Messiah. There was an additional heartache for him; he and his elderly wife Elizabeth were yearning for their own child. However, it seemed too late; she was just too old.

Enter Gabriel with astounding news—a son for Zechariah and Elizabeth, intimately connecting the child with the coming of the Messiah! Zechariah was not prepared to listen to this, and so he was unprepared to shout out its news. He is struck dumb.

How open are you to the wonderful things the Lord wants to do with you?


Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This year, we read the Gospel of St. Luke,except during Lent and with a few other exceptions.


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With Faith Awakened

The First Sunday in Advent
Mark 13:24-37

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

Jesus’ words that you will read sound more like something ending, rather than the beginning of a new church year. It appears to be the reversal of the first verses of Genesis when God created light, the sun, and the moon. Darkness comes again, as though chaos, first bound by God at the beginning of the Bible, is swallowing up God’s creation again. These are signs of the beginning of something gloriously new—the total reign of Jesus in creation. However, as often happens in our own personal lives, “Things have to get worse before they get better.” Present with you right now, the Lord seeks to turn the chaos of your life into one of order and light, even when you do not see it.

Walk awakened in faith and not in fear.


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from The Revised Common Lectionary.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families