Epistle: Matthew 1:1-25
Gospel: Hebrews 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40
Schedule of Services:
-Friday, December 24th: Christmas Eve: Compline, Matins, and Divine Liturgy for NATIVITY begin at 4:30pm.
-Sunday, December 26th, Divine Liturgy at 10am. Hours begin at 9:40am.
-Please note there will be no Great Vespers served on the Saturday of Nativity (Dec. 25th)
-Thank you, Bill Cordasco, for hosting the coffee hour today!
-As We have no host for the coffee hour on Dec. 26, we are asking each participant to bring cookies, or other holiday treats to share. Bagels will also be available.
-First quarter donation envelopes are available. Please pick them up at the candle stand.
-We are putting together a gift basket for the residents of Hunterdon Hills Rehabilitation Center. We are looking for nutritious snacks, such as peanut butter, tuna, crackers, sugar free cookies, etc.. Please place your donation in the basket on the table next to the entry door by the parking lot.
-We will begin delivering our food donations to the Fleming Food pantry, as the hours for drop off at the Cupboard Pantry are difficult for our volunteers to work around.
-Remember to bring either non-perishable items or supermarket gift cards for the food pantry. The blue box for the gift cards is by the candle stand upstairs.
Please pray for:
Living: Stella, Melissa, Helen, John, Darlette, Departed: Anatol, Tamara
Steven, Janet, Teresa, Irina, Leonty, Alla, Karen
Words for the Day
In the Scriptures it is written that falsehood is from the evil one, and that He is the "Father of Lies" (John 8:44), while God is truth, for He Himself says, "I am the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:6). Thus you see from whom we estranged ourselves and to whom we are united by a lie. So then, if we really want to be saved, we must love truth with our whole hearts and guard ourselves from all falsehood. There are three different types of lies: in thought, in word, and in life itself. A man lies in thought when he accepts as true his own imaginations, that is his vain despite of his neighbor. Such a one, when he sees that someone is conversing with his neighbor, makes his own estimation and says, "They are talking about me." If someone say a word, he considers that it was said to grieve him. Never believe your own guesses and interpretations, for a crooked measurement makes even the straight to be crooked. Human opinion is false and harms those who are given to it. The one who sins in word is one who, for example, when out of despondency he has not gotten up for the service, does not say, "Forgive me, I was too lazy to get up," but says, "I had a fever, I had too much work, I hadn't the strength to get up, I was sick," and says ten false statements, rather than make a single prostration and be humbled. And if he should be rebuke is such a situation, he changes his words and argues, in order not to be rebuked. One who lies by his life is one who, if he is defiled, pretends to be chaste, or if he is avaricious, praises almsgiving, or if he is proud praises humility. Thus, in order to escape falsehood and be delivered from the part of the evil one, let us strive to appropriate truth, in order to have union with God.
(St. Abba Dorotheos, Soul-profiting Teachings, 9)
Next Week’s Readings:
Epistle: Galatians 1:11-19. For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so
extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother.
Gospel: Matthew 2:13-23. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.