Stained glass illustration of a lamb

Five Ways Into Sunday’s Scripture: A New Creation, Another Road

This week, we’re sharing reflections and ways to dig deeper into scripture for the next two Sundays of Christmas. We hope you’ll celebrate Christmas with us, in person or online, and find deep rest and replenishment this holiday season. We’ll be back to our regular schedule in January.

Week of December 26

JOHN 1:1–5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Here, in the joy of the Christmas season, the wonder of the incarnation breaks into the world. John tells us, “No one has ever seen God,” and then reminds us that, even so, God is here — in the person of Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus, as the divine Logos, was present at the Creation of all things, so we, in our humanity, are called to become a new creation in and through Christ, the Word made flesh. —Summerlee Staten


The Rev. Canon Bill Carroll meditates on the incarnation.


A little reminder of what we mean when we say, “Christs-mass.”


A medieval sculpture of Mary and child at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Daniel Hoffman considers the innocence of the beginning.


Trinity’s archivists talk about the history of Handel’s Messiah at Trinity Church Wall Street.

Week of January 2

MATTHEW 2:9–11

When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

The Gospel for the second Sunday of Christmas points us to the upcoming Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) with the story of the wise men of the East searching for Jesus. This passage is peppered with political intrigue and foreshadowing. King Herod is alarmed when he learns of another king who might threaten his power. The identity of Jesus is confirmed for Matthew’s readers when the scribes and Pharisees tell Herod of the prophecy regarding the Messiah. But for me, the wonder of this passage is that, after the long journey to encounter the Christ Child, the wise men return to their country “by another road.” As we celebrate our own encounter with Jesus and enter a new year, are there signs in our own lives that call us to journey along another road, leading us away from what distracts us from drawing closer to the Holy One? —Ruth Frey


Stephen Hultgren helps us understand the story within the larger context of the Gospel of Matthew and the scriptures.  


Amy Lindeman Allen asks us to consider if our gifts honor the self-respect and agency of God and all of God’s children. 


Louisiana artist Clementine Hunter offers this interpretation of the journey of the wise ones on this whiskey jug.


“Home by Another Way” by James Taylor is one of my favorites (and here are the lyrics too!).


“Magi” by Daniel Berrigan reminds us how long journeys that really matter can take sometimes.

Coming Up

This Epiphanytide, join Dr. Peter Ajer, Professor of New Testament at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, for a two-week discussion of Philemon, and Dr. Lisa Bowens, Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, for a two-week discussion about her book, African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance and Transformation, in the new Discovery series, Race, Slavery, Freedom, and the New Testament, beginning Sunday, January 9.

On January 13, join Father Phil and Dr. Rob Gore, founder and executive director of Kings Against Violence (KAVI), for a discussion about violence as an endemic public health issue, particularly in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, greatly impacting children and teenagers.

Save the date: On February 3, Canon Stephanie Spellers and Dr. Catherine Meeks will be in conversation about the meaning of reconciliation and Canon Spellers’ book The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community.