Epiphany Readings: Sunday, February 2

Readings:  Psalm 15 and Matthew 5:1-12

Reflection Questions:

  1. Some of what we hear in the Beatitudes (Mt.5:1-12) is a description of the kinds people who God invites into relationship with him in his kingdom.  No one is exempt from his blessing. Can you identify with any of these human conditions of body, soul and social self? If so, how have you or do you experience God’s blessing in poverty of spirit, grief over losses in life, trouble and trouble making situations, challenges of faith, rejection from others?
  2. What ways do you need God’s intervention, comfort or support in your life today? Spend some time in prayer asking God’s Spirit to shelter with love, sustain in weakness or bolster faith in your present condition.
  3. As you talk with God about what’s going on in your life, how might you see your present condition as an open door for God to come, work, transform or bless you with his goodness?

Epiphany Readings: Sunday, January 26

Readings: Psalm 27:1, 4-9 and Matthew 4:12-23

Reflection Questions:

  1. Sit quietly turning your attention toward God; his warmth and assuring presence with you now and always.As you read and reflect on Psalm 27 notice the important questions the psalmist asks himself in v.1. In the safety of God’s presence, ask yourself: What do I fear? Fear can be inhibiting and lead to a spiritual paralysis that prevents healthy, forward movement in faith. Explore any shadowy sides of your life; any fearful illusions harbored in your heart. Bring them into the light of God’s presence as you talk to him openly about them.
  2. Jesus’ good news is the arrival of the Kingdom of heaven: it’s here, now. What perceptions or misconceptions do you have about the God’s kingdom? How might the prophetic description of the kingdom of God (Matt.4:15-16) and the demonstration of its power (v.23) shape your understanding of God’s kingdom?
  3. As he did with his first followers, Jesus still meets people where they live and work. Jesus invites us both to enter into the dynamic of God’s kingdom life and to partner with him in his kingdom mission. What invitations might God be giving to you to enter more deeply into his kingdom life or partner with him in his kingdom work? What are the things you’ll need to let go of or turn from in order to follow Jesus today?

– Elizabeth Khorey

Epiphany Readings: Sunday, January 19

Readings: Psalm 40:1-11 and John 1:29-42

Reflection Questions:

  1. Our gospel narrative points to the striking appearance of Jesus as John the Baptist designates him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Take a few moments to pause and “Behold” Jesus as the Lamb of God. What do you see as you consider him?
  2. As Jesus engages with his disciples he asks them: What do you seek? Right now, ask what do you seek? Take a moment to talk honestly to God about the desires of your heart.
  3. In the Gospels, the frequent invitation of Jesus to those around him is come and see (v.39). How might you hear and respond to Jesus’ invitation?

– Elizabeth Khorey

Epiphany Readings: Sunday, January 12

Readings: Isaiah 42:1-9 and Matthew 3:13-17

Reflection Questions:

Mary Oliver, an American poet and Pulitzer Prize winner captures the heart-beat of the season of Epiphany as she simply writes:

PAY ATTENTION
BE ASTONISHED
TELL ABOUT IT

Epiphany marks the third sequential season that celebrates the great and true Light that has come into the world. The season is characterized from the Scriptural account as a time to witness what God reveals in his Son, Jesus. In other words, the season helps us: to See Jesus, to discover him in unlikely places and to wonder about what God is up to as he builds his kingdom on earth through Jesus. It’s also a season that emphasizes witness in the sense of telling others about Jesus. Epiphany is what some might say is the “aha” moments of our lives when we are aware that heaven and earth meet in sacred an uncanny ways. As you reflect on the seasonal readings for Epiphany, take moments to SEE Jesus. Discover creative ways to show and tell what you’ve come to experience in Christ.

  1. Center your attention in God as you read Isaiah 42:1-9. Allow the depiction of God’s Servant and his mission stimulate your imagination. What one facet of God’s Servant or his mission resonates most deeply within you? How might you become more attentive to seeing Jesus in your ordinary life as he is portrayed in these Scripture verses?
  2. Now, immerse yourself in the story of Jesus’ baptism. Imagine yourself as an onlooker in the narrative. What do you see? What do you hear? As a child of God, how might you identify with Jesus at his baptism as you consider your own Spirit-bathed life in God?
  3. What areas of your heart or life might you need a generative washing of the waters of life today? Take time now to speak honestly to God about these things. Ask for the Spirit to come and wash you in the newness of life.

– Elizabeth Khorey