Today we think about the "2 Turtle Doves" which symbolize The Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The dove is also a symbol of peace (shalom).
Together, the old and new testaments bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God and God's mission to the world. God's mission to the world is one of restoration, reconciliation, redemption and shalom.
In some countries (many which were once under the British flag), it is also called “Boxing Day”- a tradition that dates to the Middle Ages, or possibly even to the late Roman/early Christian era. In times of old, metal boxes were placed outside churches used to collect special offerings that were associated with to the Feast of Saint Stephen/ St. Stephen's Day. The Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian saint's day celebrated on 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. It commemorates St Stephen, the first Christian martyr who was in charge of the first seven ‘deacons’ –or servants- in the Early Church who were assigned to caring for the ill, poor, widowed and orphaned. (You've sung about this day, if you've sung the Christmas Carol "Good King Wenceslas")
Today we contemplate the unity of the Old and New Testaments, as we see The Story of God’s Mission *in* and *to* the world, and we reflect on how we've seen God's redemptive work in the world played out…First, through Christ’s ultimate example, but we also reflect upon how God wants us to continue this mission...
We think about God’s justice and mercy in the world and ask ourselves: What have I done to further God’s redemptive work in the world? How have I been a servant to those around me who are less fortunate? How do I model and advance God's Kingdom of shalom?
Today, we look forward to a New Year in which we have yet another opportunity to be intentional in our acts of mercy and justice to others for the glory of God.
Lord God, Thank You for the gift of Your Word...
Thank You for letting us know in writing that
You have a purpose, a plan, and a mission
to redeem, restore, and reconcile,
Thank You for Allowing us to be recipients of this redemption, restoration, and reconciliation,
Thank You for Allowing us to be also be Agents of Your redemptive plan for the world...