THE WORD OF GOD – JANUARY 4, 2015 (DECEMBER 22, 2014)


Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). Food with Oil

Sunday before the Nativity of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, Holy Father
Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ.
Great-martyr Anastasia of Rome, deliverer from bonds, and her teacher Martyr Chrysogonus, and with them martyrs Theodota, Evodias, Eutychianus, and others who suffered under Diocletian (304).

Hebrews 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40 (Epistle, Sunday Before)

9

By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;

10

for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

17

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18

of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”

19

concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

20

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21

By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.

22

By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.

23

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

32

And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:

33

who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

34

quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35

Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.

36

Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.

37

They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented-

38

of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

39

And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,

40

God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

Matthew 1:16-25 (Gospel, Sunday Before)

16

And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

17

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.

18

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

19

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

20

But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

21

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.

22

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

23

Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.”

24

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,

25

and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

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