December 23, 2011

Advent: Day Twenty Three

Photo Credit:  Jessi @ Naptime Diaries

Epistle Lesson
Galatians 3:15-22

  “To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
  Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
  Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”

Gospel Lesson

Luke 1:67-80
  “And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
  “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, 
   for he has visited and redeemed his people 
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us 
   in the house of his servant David, 
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, 
that we should be saved from our enemies 
   and from the hand of all who hate us; 
to show the mercy promised to our fathers 
   and to remember his holy covenant, 
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us 
  that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, 
might serve him without fear, 
  in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; 
   for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 
to give knowledge of salvation to his people 
   in the forgiveness of their sins, 
because of the tender mercy of our God, 
   whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high 
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, 
   to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
  And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.”

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