January 3 Devotional

Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.

Opening Prayer: Almighty God, who came to us long ago in the birth of Jesus Christ, be born in us anew today by the power of your Holy Spirit. We offer our lives as home to you and ask for grace and strength to live as your faithful, joyful children always. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants)

Scripture Reading for the Day: Titus 2:11-14

Reading for Reflection: “Guide our feet into the paths of peace, that having done Your will this day, we may, when night comes, rejoice and give You thanks…” We begin the work that is before us this day, asking for the grace to do it well and to the glory of God. We dress children and get them to school, we find our places and undertake the tasks for which we have been dreamed into being. We do the work that is before us, the gift of study or play, the tasks and assignments, the places to go and the people to see. We begin to sense that our work can be changed from job and task into service and act of kindness, from struggle for gain into the offering of gift, from slow death into life-giving co-creation. The work itself can become something more as we come to see ourselves as co-laborers rather than pawns, as hands and feet of God rather than merely the shoulders and backs of the marketplace. We keep our eyes open for the One Who Comes among us in our daily rounds. (Living Prayer by Robert Benson)

Reflection and Listening: silent and written

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Mostafa and Mona Sharkawy’s main area of work is the U.K., serving among Arab Muslims. Their goals are to see Arabic churches arise from Muslim background believers, to see new generations of leaders from Muslim believers, and to teach and prepare them for future ministry. Pray today for their work inside the Immigration Removal Centre and that more people will come and join the weekly meetings.

Global SEEDS (Global Source for Education and Economic Development Strategies) builds empowering relationships with Muslim refugees in the Knoxville community, helping them integrate into local culture by teaching English as a second language, offering adult literacy and job training, as well as assisting them in developing important life skills.

Closing Prayer: Lord God, in this holy season of song, prayer, and laughter, may we praise you for the amazing wonders you have sent us. For shining stars, angel’s songs, and the newborn’s cry in a lowly manger, we thank you. We praise you for the Word made flesh. May we behold his glory and bask in his radiance. Be with us as we continue to celebrate this Christmas season. Amen.