Epiphany 1: Sunday, January 11

Readings: Colossians 1: 9 – 14;  Matthew 4: 12 – 24

We begin our Season of Epiphany with prayer…Paul’s prayer for the church at Colosse which has become a prayer for all followers of Christ throughout the ages. Colossians 1:9 introduces the apostle’s prayer with the words: “for this reason…” which links the pray to what Paul knew of the saints in Colosse: their reception of Christ, their blossoming faith, the concrete spread of the gospel through their witness and their robust love that was demonstrated in tangible ways within their community and worship of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.

  1. Take a moment to read Colossians 1:1-8 as a preface to Paul’s prayer in verses 9-14. What connection do you see between prayer and actual life? Have you ever considered what it looks like for active people with busy lives to pray without ceasing? Or how constant prayer might be the in-road to a dynamic Spirit-empowered life? What spiritual practices have you experimented with that might develop your prayer life with God? In what ways do you notice your soul’s enrichment through prayer?
  2. When you read the words “bearing fruit” (Col.1:6, 10) what comes to mind? In what ways have you observed or experienced fruitfulness in your own life? If you are experiencing a type of dry barrenness in your life, Colossians 1:9-14 might become a type of watering-prayer for the soil of your heart and life. Taking a few moments now, make it your own prayer to God.
  3. Read Matt.4:12-24. Utilizing Colossians 9-12, construct for yourself what it looks like practically, spiritually, relationally in your life to Follow Jesus.
  4. Focus your attention on Col.1:13-14 reading it a few times slowly and thoughtfully. Is there something you are grateful for? Give thanks. Is there something to ask for? Ask, with assurance that your prayers are heard (Ps.6:9)