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Our Journey to Bethlehem

She treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart
Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-21

Sermon Week Octave of Christmas Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 2:19

In today's Lesson, an angel of the Lord appears to the shepherds in the field, saying: "I bring you good news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" (Lk. 2:10). And the shepherds "hurried away, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger. Then they returned to the field "glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen" (Lk. 2:16,20).

Glorifying and praising God for the supreme blessing of the Savior's Presence in our midst, we greet one another on this day, saying, "Happy New Year.”

On this first day of the first month of the new year, let me remind you that January gets its name from the Roman god, Janus or Januarius. This pagan god was represented as having two heads and two pairs of eyes. Each head faced in the opposite direction from the other and each pair of eyes looked in the opposite direction from the other. It is believed that from this representation of Januarius came the custom of the New Year’s resolution. Those of us who make New Year’s resolutions are simultaneously looking back at how we lived in the old year while looking ahead to how we will improve our lives in the new one.

Anyone who has spent New Year’s Eve in Rome can tell you that the celebrations there are unlike anything you might have experienced here at home. The festivities begin at noon on December 31st with a booming cannon and a mounting crescendo of noisemakers. As night comes, bright tracer flashes cut across the sky and, finally, at midnight, the cheers go up, and there is lots of hugging and kissing and dancing in the streets. But that’s not all. The Romans think that New Year’s Eve is an appropriate time to rid themselves of the old and take on the new. In the past, some of their New Year's traditions have included throwing old, worn out things from their windows. [...]


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