Different Gospel Beginnings

Do you know how many of the gospels contain the Christmas story?  The answer is that only two, since only Matthew and Luke relate the birth of Jesus.  The other two gospels, Mark, the earliest, and John, the latest, start with the Baptism of Jesus.  The Gospel of Mark is the shortest and the most direct gospel story, as it starts with the public life of Jesus.  The Gospel of John is more spiritual and opens with the beautiful theological prologue about the “Word” (Λόγος) with echoes of the Genesis story of creation.

Praise Yahweh (Ps 117:1-117:2)

“Praise Yahweh!

All you nations!

Extol him!

All you peoples!

Great is his steadfast love

Toward us.

The faithfulness of Yahweh

Endures forever.

Praise Yahweh!”

Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm with only two verses. This is really a doxology or praise refrain. All the nations and people are to praise Yahweh for his great steadfast love and enduring faithfulness. This psalm begins and ends with the refrain of “Praise Yahweh,” “alleluia,” the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”