Practices For A Life Epiphany

During the Season of Epiphany we are looking at the ways we steward a whole life. Todd suggests a few very simple spiritual practices to consider incorporating into our every day spheres of life. These practices alert us to ways we might live more deeply into the uniqueness of our personhood, calling and co-operative friendship with Jesus for the sake of others.

  • Notice others; make acquaintances
  • Live a humble life of love among them
  • Listen, pray, dialog (without pressure for answers or controlling outcomes; once you pick up a conversation to steer it, it becomes a pitch)
  • Serve in small, genuine ways
  • Love and reveal God’s love

In moments of quiet thoughtfully ask yourself:

Who do you notice in your life ?

What has God given you in the way of natural abilities and spiritual gifts through which you can look for opportunities to love and serve them?

Listen to Todd’s sermon – Stewards of Natural Abilities & Spiritual Gifts (mp3)

Complete listing of sermons – click here

Epiphany 4: Sunday, February 1

Readings: Colossians 3:1-4; Matthew 6:25-34

We know Jesus’ words in Matthew so well, “Don’t be anxious about your life…” And yet, so often, we find ourselves sinking in anxiety or worry.  The Lord knows this, and desires to teach us about our worries and anxieties even as His Spirit transforms our hearts to trust more deeply in his goodness.  But it’s a process… and for some of us a daily one!

  1. Take a moment to review the past 24 hours with our God who deeply loves you.  Play the last 24 hours like a movie in your mind – who you talked to, what you did, what you experienced.  Ask the Lord to bring to mind moments where you might have been anxious or worried about something.  What was it about these things that made you feel anxious or worried?  Talk with the Lord about these things, asking him to teach you about your own heart.
  2. Paul encourages the Colossians to “set your mind on things that are above”, later describing these as “compassion, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness… and above all, love” (Col 3:2, 12-14).  He also encourages them to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,” and to allow “the Word of Christ to dwell in you richly” (Col 3:15, 16).  Perhaps cultivation of these virtues are antidotes to worry and anxiety. 
  3. Ask the Lord how these things “from above, where Christ is” (Col 3:1) might be connected to the list of worries or anxieties you have had over the last 24 hours.  Maybe the Lord is leading you to deeper compassion or to revisit forgiveness for someone, or maybe he is asking you to claim again the promise that he will care for you.  Spend some time meditating on the truths he reveals to you in these scriptures, asking his Spirit to draw them more deeply into your heart.

Epiphany 3: Sunday, January 25

Readings: Colossians 2:6-15; Matthew 9:2-8

Paul writes to the church at Colossae, concerned that they may be distracted or pulled away from the central truths of the gospel by the variety of cultural influences in that city.  He takes significant pains to remind this dear church of who Jesus is. Then, he encourages them to continue walking in his ways.

  1. Recall the time when you first received Christ, or perhaps when you first realized that your sins were forgiven.  What were the circumstances?  What this time like for you?  Take some time to remember this with God.
  2. Now, recall what your life with Christ has been like since you first became aware that He was with you.  In what ways have you seen him rooting, establishing, building you up and strengthening you in him?  As you remember these things, offer them back up to Him with thanksgiving.

Epiphany 2: Sunday, January 18

Readings: Colossians 1: 15 – 23; John 5:2-18

We turn our attention to Colossians 1:15-23 which has scholars debating whether or not it’s an ancient church hymn, a piece of poetry, or a spontaneous interjection of praise. Whatever its literary structure is, these verses contain some of the most exalted images and depiction of the divinity and preeminence of Jesus. Pause quietly to read, reflect, and BEHOLD Jesus Christ.

  1. Now, as you re-read Col.1:15-23 read also John 5:2-18 as a companion. How does Jesus make the invisible God visible in the gospel narrative? Recall ways that you’ve experienced the visibility God in your own life. Why might this be significant in your journey of faith? How might seeing God in tangible demonstrations of love, power and redemptive healing in your own life impact others?
  2. Paul alluded to the historic Jesus in Col.1:13-14: the effects of his death and resurrection on the cross. In what ways does the apostle depict the cosmic Christ in Col.1:15-23? Holding before you the two portraits of Jesus: in his humanity; in his operative role in creation as the second person of the Trinity; consider why might this holistic portrait be important for your growth in the knowledge of his will (Col.1:9)? How does the picture and work of pre-Incarnate Christ expand your perspective or adjust your current view of life?
  3. Even though we live in a fragmented world of brokenness, evil and sin how does the image of Jesus as one who holds all the cosmos together, holds all things together instill hope, assurance or bolster your faith? Are there areas in your life that seem as if they are falling apart? Take a moment to talk to God about these things with the renewed knowledge that he holds…YOU together.
  4. It was because of Paul’s own personal experience of Jesus Christ, his expansive understanding and vision of the risen Lord Jesus, that he became a minister of the gospel – making Jesus known to all. How might your own experience of Jesus inspire creative dialogue with those who haven’t yet come to know or receive Christ as Lord and Savior? Ask God to help you share your story or open your eyes to see unique ways to serve others with the reality of Jesus’s reconciling love.