Last Words: My Prayer for Bethlehem (Isaiah 61:10-62:3, Luke 2:22-40, Philippians 1:1-11, Philippians 1:27-28)

Rick Mylander, Sunday, December 27, 2020
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Isaiah 61:10–62:3 (Listen)

10   I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
    my soul shall exult in my God,
  for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
  as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11   For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
    and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
  so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
    to sprout up before all the nations.

62:1   For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
    and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
  until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
    and her salvation as a burning torch.
  The nations shall see your righteousness,
    and all the kings your glory,
  and you shall be called by a new name
    that the mouth of the LORD will give.
  You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
    and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

(ESV)

Luke 2:22–40 (Listen)

22 And 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”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now 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. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And 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, 28 he 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;
30   for my eyes have seen your salvation
31     that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32   a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And 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.”

36 And 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, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 And 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.

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

(ESV)

Philippians 1:1–11 (Listen)

1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

(ESV)

Philippians 1:27–28 (Listen)

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.

(ESV)