Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Genesis 28:10-22, Psalm 72, and Hebrews 11:13-22
Christmas is about the incarnation – the Word being made flesh and dwelling among us. It is the beginning of a whole season devoted to seeing Christ as the son of God. The climax is the Sunday before Lent, which some faith traditions celebrate as the Transfiguration of our Lord.
Today’s reading from Genesis talks about God revealing himself to Jacob. Jacob has a dream which shows him that God is in that place, so he sets up a rock, pours oil on it, and names it “Bethel”, which means “House of God”. To Jacob, this is a tangible way to remember something important. More importantly, this is a way for Jacob to tell others about his experiences. Seeing an up-turned rock with oil stains may raise a few questions, which will allow Jacob to tell about his dream and how God revealed himself to him.
How has God revealed himself to you? Has it been in a dream, like Jacob, or Joseph, or the wise men? Has it been by other means? Thank God for showing himself to you, and ask him to continue to do that. You may find the following prayer helpful:
Almighty God, you have revealed yourself to us through many ways: Grant us grace that we might see you wherever you may appear, and that we might behold your glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.