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Daily reading: 31 December

Learn something new about God.

Something to read

And now, my children, listen to me:     happy are those who keep my ways.  Hear instruction and be wise,     and do not neglect it. Happy is the one who listens to me,     watching daily at my gates,     waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life     and obtains favour from the Lord;  but those who miss me injure themselves; all who hate me love death.

- Proverbs 8:32-36.

Something to think about

This year ends with the 12-year-old Jesus holding the religious teachers spell-bound in the Jerusalem Temple. As we conclude this celebration of one of the great biblical translations, and a text that has woven itself into English literature and into many cultures, it is fitting that we are in the context of words, learning and faith.

Knowing about God matters, and always has. Arguing and wrestling with ideas is something we do with one another on matters of deep faith and as we explore what it means to be human and to live together.

The Temple was a place for glorious worship and hot debate. Jesus, well ahead of his baptism and public ministry, is already at the heart of the conversations. And the translators and compilers of the King James Bible wanted to enable these ancient texts to be translated and brought to life so that they could be at the heart of their time.

We still need translations of scripture to bring God’s Word close in words we can recognise and understand. But, even more, we need to find ourselves with Jesus in the midst of now. We need to let his life, death and resurrection beguile and grip us. So, with Mary, we can treasure all these things in our hearts.

Something to do

How might you learn something new about God today? How about reading a bit of the Bible you never have, or haven’t for a long time? How about talking to someone? How about browsing the internet and seeing what some blogger or website has to say about a dimension of faith (look up a word like 'disciple')? How about going somewhere you wouldn’t normally go and seeing how God is there?

Something to pray

In the midst of the Temple’s lofty grandeur you sit,
in all your 12 years and eternity of wisdom,
and captivate all who notice you.
Captivate me today, Jesus.
Hold me in the wonder of your complete knowledge of who I am
and your unending desire for me to be who you want me to be.
Captivate me today, Jesus,
that I might then be free.

Today's contributor is the Rev Neil Thorogood, who at the time of writing was the Principal of Westminster College, Cambridge.

Published on 31 December 2021