January 1st – Gen 1.2; Luke 1
The Account of Creation 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.4And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day. 6Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” 7And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. 8God called the space “sky.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day. 9Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. 10God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good.11Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. 12The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. 13And evening passed and morning came, marking the third day. 14Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. 15Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened.16God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day. 20Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.”21So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. 22Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” 23And evening passed and morning came, marking the fifth day. 24Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. 25God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. 26Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” 27So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” 29Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. 30And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened. 31Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.
1So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. 3And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. 4This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. The Man and Woman in Eden When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,5neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. 6Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land.7Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. 8Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. 9The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. 11The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. 12The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. 13The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush. 14The third branch, called the Tigris, flowed east of the land of Asshur. The fourth branch is called the Euphrates. 15The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—17except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” 18Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”19So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. 21So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22Then the LORDGod made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. 23“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” 24This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. 25Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
Introduction 1Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. 2They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. 3Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, 4so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught. The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold 5When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. 6Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. 8One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. 9As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. 10While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying. 11While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. 14You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 16And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. 17He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” 18Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” 19Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.” 21Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah to come out of the sanctuary, wondering why he was taking so long. 22When he finally did come out, he couldn’t speak to them. Then they realized from his gestures and his silence that he must have seen a vision in the sanctuary. 23When Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home. 24Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months. 25“How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.” The Birth of Jesus Foretold 26In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.28Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” 29Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” 34Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37For the word of God will never fail.” 38Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. Mary Visits Elizabeth 39A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town 40where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. 41At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. 43Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? 44When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise 46Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. 49For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. 50He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. 51His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. 52He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. 53He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. 54He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. 55For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.” 56Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home. The Birth of John the Baptist 57When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to a son. 58And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her. 59When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. 60But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!” 61“What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.” 62So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. 63He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” 64Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God. 65Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills.66Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way. Zechariah’s Prophecy 67Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy: 68“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. 69He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, 70just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago. 71Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. 72He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant— 73the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. 74We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, 75in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live. 76“And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. 77You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. 78Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, 79to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” 80John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.