January — We are loved
Second Sunday after Christmas Day: 3 January
John 1: (1-9), 10-18, Ephesians 1:3-14, Jeremiah 31:7-14
What is our destiny? What part do we have to play in it? God sees our lives with a perspective that we can’t really begin to comprehend. However, we can comprehend who we are to God. We are the children of God. This we have heard from the Word of God, who is embodied and enfleshed in Christ. We know that we are loved – not just as individuals, but with all others. God gives us meaning and purpose in our lives, even though often we may not always perceive or recognise what that is.
Baptism of the Lord — First Sunday after the Epiphany: 10 January
Isaiah 43:1-7, Acts 8:14-17, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
Have you been baptised and/or confirmed? What does it mean for you? If we are honest as a Church, we have constructed an understanding of baptism to suit our needs and to try bring order in our life as a community — but the Bible is less than clear about it.
- What does our baptism mean in terms of our discipleship?
- How are we living out the commitments that were made as part of this?
- How are we living out our discipleship in ministry and service? Ultimately, this is the big question.
Second Sunday after the Epiphany: 17 January
1 Corinthians 12:1-11, John 2:1-11
What are your gifts? What talents do you have? Have you ever entered into a time or process of discernment to listen with others for what God might be calling you to? It is easy to play down our gifts or to lack confidence in them. Sometimes, it takes other people to call them out of us or to help us discover what they are.
- We may never know for certain whether something is or isn’t exactly the way or time that God has planned for us, but if we are serving others in love and contributing to making the world better, we can be confident that God can use it in the work of the Kingdom. This is faith and in it we will hopefully find our epiphany.
Third Sunday after the Epiphany: 24 January
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a, Luke 4:14-21
We are the body of Christ and individually members of it. We are the followers of Jesus, the Son of God, Immanuel – God with us. We are not called to be a religion. We are not called to be a spiritual self-help club. However, we are disciples of Jesus. We follow, learn about and learn from the one whom the Spirit of the Lord was upon. The one who came to bring good news to the poor and proclaimed the year of the Lord’s favour. Maybe we need an epiphany to realise just how far we come up short in doing this with Jesus, and how much potential there is in our lives for improvement.
Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany: 31 January
Jeremiah 1:4-10, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Luke 4:21-30
What a mixed bag of readings the Lectionary sets before us this week! Have you heard the Word of the Lord? How was it received by others? Prophets are not usually popular people because they speak the truth of God, which usually convicts the people of their sin and shortcomings. Jesus is the Word of God. He not only spoke about the love of God, but lived it for us to emulate. In the classic passage from Paul about unselfish love, we not only hear a call to action, but we get a description of God — for God is love.
- How should we learn more about God and God’s love?
- How do we embody such love? These are things to think about as we journey into Lent and then on to the Cross.
The December 2015 and January 2016 Lectionary Reflections were written by the Rev. Jon Humphries, the Chaplain at Ravenswood School for Girls
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