Second Sunday of Christmas

Psalmody: Psalm 108:1–6, 12–13

1 My heart is steadfast, | O God!*
         I will sing and make melody with all
         my | being!

2 Awake, O | harp and lyre!*
         I will a- | wake the dawn!

3 I will give thanks to you, O LORD,
among the | peoples;*
         I will sing praises to you
         among the | nations.

4 For your steadfast love is great
above the | heavens;*
         your faithfulness reaches | to the clouds.

5 Be exalted, O God, above the | heavens!*
         Let your glory be over | all the earth!

6 That your beloved ones may be
de- | livered,*
         give salvation by your right hand
         and | answer me!

12 Oh grant us help a- | gainst the foe,*
         for vain is the salva- | tion of man!

13 With God we shall do | valiantly;*
         it is he who will tread | down our foes.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 63:1–14

The LORD’s Day of Vengeance
1Who is this who comes from Edom,
         in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,

he who is splendid in his apparel,
         marching in the greatness of his strength?

“It is I, speaking in righteousness,
         mighty to save.”

2Why is your apparel red,
         and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?

3“I have trodden the winepress alone,
         and from the peoples no one was with me;

I trod them in my anger
         and trampled them in my wrath;

their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
         and stained all my apparel.

4For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
         and my year of redemption had come.

5I looked, but there was no one to help;
         I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;

so my own arm brought me salvation,
         and my wrath upheld me.

6I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
         I made them drunk in my wrath,
         and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

The LORD’s Mercy Remembered
7I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD,
         the praises of the LORD,

according to all that the LORD has granted us,
         and the great goodness to the house of Israel

that he has granted them according to his compassion,
         according to the abundance of his steadfast love.

8For he said, “Surely they are my people,
         children who will not deal falsely.”
         And he became their Savior.

9In all their affliction he was afflicted,
         and the angel of his presence saved them;

in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
         he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

10But they rebelled
         and grieved his Holy Spirit;

therefore he turned to be their enemy,
         and himself fought against them.

11Then he remembered the days of old,
         of Moses and his people.

Where is he who brought them up out of the sea
         with the shepherds of his flock?

Where is he who put in the midst of them
         his Holy Spirit,

12who caused his glorious arm
         to go at the right hand of Moses,

who divided the waters before them
         to make for himself an everlasting name,
         13who led them through the depths?

Like a horse in the desert,
         they did not stumble.

14Like livestock that go down into the valley,
         the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest.

So you led your people,
         to make for yourself a glorious name.

New Testament Reading: Luke 2:21–40

21And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Jesus Presented at the Temple
22And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
         according to your word;

30for my eyes have seen your salvation
         31that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
         and for glory to your people Israel.”

33And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

36And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

The Return to Nazareth
39And when they had performed every-thing according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.

Hymnody

Christ is the hope and saving light
Of those in blindness;
He guides and comforts those in night
By His kindness.
For Your people Israel
In Him find joy and glory.
    —In Peace and Joy I Now Depart (LSB 938:4)

Prayer of the Day

O God, our Maker and Redeemer, You wonderfully created us and in the incarna-tion of Your Son yet more wondrously restored our human nature. Grant that we may ever be alive in Him who made Himself to be like us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

By Rev. Michael Mayer

Lutheran Pastor of two small Lutheran Churches in rural SW Ontario.