January: Epiphany of the Lord
Rev. Karen Mitchell-Lambert is back in 2017 to help us challenge our faith through her creative Lectionary Doodles post. This month, to help you with your discipleship, below are lectionary relfections that accompany Karen’s colour-in illustrations that you can download here. Enjoy!
Epiphany of the Lord, Matthew 2:1-12
At Christmas, it is so easy to be people of faith. But in the cold light of a new year, we are faced with a hard cold reality: people don’t always see things how we do. To make faith a part of our new year requires commitment and preparation. A bit like the wise men — they prepared, packed and, after meeting Herod, were even ready to go a different way, when things didn’t work out. We can learn a lot from them; we need to be open to the possibility there needs to be a change of plan to complete your journey.
What will your New Year faith resolution look like? How will you prepare for it? Who can support you?
Baptism of the Lord, Matthew 3:13-17
This week we are looking at the baptism of Jesus. I love how John knows who Jesus is and protests about baptising him. But Jesus chooses to go ahead with making a public choice — as a human being — that he will commit his life to God. As we all are when our kids decide to take the faith on for themselves, Dad is proud as punch and can’t help but comment: ‘Check this out, this is my Son and I am so pleased.’ I find it quite comforting for me, a mere mortal, to delve into the humanness of this story.
Do you think when we make choices each day to live out our faith, God beams down and says ‘This is my child, in whom I am well pleased’?
Second Sunday after Epiphany, John 1:29-42
We are back with John the Baptist again this week. This time, it is when Jesus is beginning to gather disciples. For John, there was no doubt in his mind who Jesus was and he made it clear to anyone who would listen. So much so that two of his disciples decided to listen to Jesus and followed him. I wonder how that must have felt for John, as he was doing all he could to be faithful to God — to the point of limiting his wardrobe and living on a less-than-desirable menu.
How do you think John should have felt about his disciples following Jesus?
Third Sunday after Epiphany, Matthew 4:12-23
Matthew has a really interesting take on the call of the disciples. Jesus walks up and says ‘I’ll make you fishers of men,’ and they drop everything and go… Wow. Really? I wonder how often we see things happen that God has been a part of and as we look on in awe, we think, ‘That is so amazing, there is no way that would ever happen to me!’.
The reality for us often is God’s people have been working for years to make this happen; it hasn’t just happened overnight. Matthew is usually really keen to show us that, in fact, God has been working on this plan — so that Jesus would make sense for generations.
Have you seen God do some instant ‘miracles’, or has His work taken longer? Why do you think he works like that?
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, Matthew 5:1-12
One of my favourite commentators on The Beatitudes is Dave Andrews; he calls them Be-attitudes. He challenges us as Christians to live out these attitudes in our everyday life. In today’s passage, there are nine types of blessed and they are all so counter-cultural. The poor of Spirit, not those bubbling with joy, that have the kingdom of heaven? The meek shall inherit the earth? I don’t think Donald Trump would agree with that and I feel like I want to say, ‘Are you sure Jesus? Have you not seen our world and how hard this can be?’ But it seems Jesus wanted to keep it simple. Humility, justice, mercy, peace — be these people, because this is where God is at. It will not be easy and you will face hard times but it is worth it.
Do you believe Jesus’ words in The Beatitudes? Will you live your life by them?
The Lectionary Reflections for December and January were prepared by Rev. Karen Mitchell-Lambert of Wesley Castle Hill Uniting Church. Her blog — lectionarydoodles.wordpress.com — encourages the reflective practice of adult colouring with the weekly Lectionary.
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