Proper/Lessons for December 27, 2015, the first Sunday after Christmas Day

 

Isaiah 61: 10-62:3

The prophet Isaiah, filled with joy, opens this passage with a hymn, stated with great intensity – “my whole being shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation.” The hymn speaks of the future for the community of Zion – the jubilee year is upon us, it is an economic rehabilitation. The community will blossom, the metaphoric garden will be fruitful. Thus the prophet is confident of Yahweh’s gift of salvation for his people.

Galatians 3: 23-25, 4: 4-7

The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, teaches his fundamental precept that faith in Christ justifies all who believe and that the law which governed until Jesus came, no longer separates us from one another. Under Christ, Jews and Gentiles are one. Christ, Paul teaches, has redeemed us and made us, as it were, children, children of God and adopted by him and thus, heirs of his kingdom.

John 1: 1-18

The gospel this day is the famous prologue of John. “It has everything – poetry, mysticism, creation, redemption – it is a hymn to the pre-existent Christ.” Here is the Good News, as also told by Paul in the New Testament lesson today, that belief in Christ enables us to be children of God. John makes clear, the coming of Christ is the coming of light to the world, light that cannot be extinguished on earth; for it shines brightly in invitation to us to be as promised, children of God.