First Sunday after Christmas (Year C)

Summary

In the readings for this Sunday, we see that Samuel grows in stature and favor, ministering before
the Lord (1 Samuel 2:18–20, 26). The psalmist declares, Praise the Lord, all creation! God is exalted
in heaven and earth (Psalm 148). The apostle Paul challenges us: As God’s chosen ones, clothe
yourselves in love; be thankful (Colossians 3:12–17). In Luke, three days after Passover, young
Jesus is found in his Father’s house (Luke 2:41–52).

Lectionary Readings

1 Samuel 2:18–20, 26

18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the Lord”; and then they would return to their home.

Psalm 148

1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his host!

3 Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he commanded and they were created.
6 He established them forever and ever;
he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!

9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!

11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike,
old and young together!

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his faithful,
for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!

Colossians 3:12–17

12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Luke 2:41–52

41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43 When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49 He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Psalm 148:1-6, 11-14

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his host!

Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.
He established them forever and ever; he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike, old and young together!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his faithful,
for the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

Prayer of Renewal

Based on Colossians 3:15-17

Holy God,
let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts,
and help us to be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly;
help us to teach and admonish one another in all wisdom;
and with gratitude in our hearts, may we sing
psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to you.
And whatever we do, in word or deed,
may we do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to you, our Father, through him.

Affirmation of Faith

Based on Colossians 3:12-14

We believe that as God’s chosen ones,
holy and beloved, we are to clothe ourselves
with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

We believe we are to bear with one another and,
if anyone has a complaint against another, we are to forgive each other;
just as the Lord has forgiven us, so we also must forgive.

We believe that, above all, we are to clothe ourselves with love,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

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