Daily Readings for Sunday December 31,2017

December 2017
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Reading 1, Gen 21:9-21 : God protects the son of the slave woman

9 But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac.
10 So she said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac."
11 And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son.
12 But God said to Abraham, "Be not displeased because of the lad and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your descendants be named.
13 And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring."
14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes.
16 Then she went, and sat down over against him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, "Let me not look upon the death of the child." And as she sat over against him, the child lifted up his voice and wept.
17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.
18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him fast with your hand; for I will make him a great nation."
19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink.
20 And God was with the lad, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow.
21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.


Reading 2, 1 Sam 1:21-28 : Samuel is given to the Lord

21 And the man Elka'nah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow.
22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the LORD, and abide there for ever."
23 Elka'nah her husband said to her, "Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only, may the LORD establish his word." So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him.
24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine; and she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh; and the child was young.
25 Then they slew the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.
26 And she said, "Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD.
27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD has granted me my petition which I made to him.
28 Therefore I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD." And they worshiped the LORD there.


Reading 3, Gal 4:21-5:1 : Christ has set us free

Galatians 4 & 5
21 Tell me, you who desire to be under law, do you not hear the law?
22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman.
23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise.
24 Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.
25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.
27 For it is written, "Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail; for the children of the desolate one are many more than the children of her that is married."
28 Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.
29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now.
30 But what does the scripture say? "Cast out the slave and her son; for the son of the slave shall not inherit with the son of the free woman."
31 So, brethren, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.
1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.


Gospel, Mt 2:1-12 : Visit of the magi

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying,
2 "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him."
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet:
6 `And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'"
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared;
8 and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him."
9 When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy;
11 and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.


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