Readings and Reflections for Tuesday 29 January 2019: Epiphany

Daily Office Readings for 29 January 2019

AM Psalm 45; PM Psalm 47, 48 Isa. 48:12-21; Gal. 1:18-2:10; Mark 6:1-13

Part 1of 2

“Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only heard it said, ‘The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” (Galatians 1: 18 – 23)

Paul’s time was a time before pictures and emails.  No one knew what anybody looked like. So when people met Paul they had to ponder about who he used to be and who he is now.  We all change over time, hopefully for the better.

I know that I am not the person I used to be.  And I am so thankful to God for it.  However, anytime I travel back to Nashville, Tennessee, those closest to my age assume that I have the same value system that I left with. I do not.  Life is more meaningful now and it’s not just because I’m older.  My study of Jesus and the Gospels has had a profound effect on the way I interpret experiences. 

We are taught by love to be tolerant of others. I think we should be especially intentional about tolerance when we don’t agree with them.  The world has many people that I do not agree with.  But that’s ok.  There is a code of ethics built into our Baptismal Covenant that says that with God’s help we will respect the dignity of every person.  What I must remind myself of constantly is that this applies even if they don’t respect themselves.  I have been there, in a dark place, where I did not respect myself.  I think the first person we have to start respecting is ourselves.  Our values change.  As we age, our thoughts go through some changes. The good news is, like Paul, our beliefs change also. Now change can go either way, good or bad.  But with concepts like tolerance and love we are able to be civil and loving with people, even those who differ from us.  When this happens people will marvel that you, like Paul, are no longer the person you used to be. Thanks be to God.  

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people.

Part 2 of 2


“And he was amazed at their unbelief” (Mark 6:6)

This is so much like the Paul episode above. Jesus went to Nazareth, the place where he was raised, but because his old friends would not let go of their old understanding of who he was there was little to no healing.  Belief is everything.  Jesus works with the faith we have. 

Perhaps the most difficult thing we can do is change what we believe.  We have had to change what we believed about the earth being the center of the universe and the little hot sun rotating around us.  We’ve had to re-think the earth being flat.  Currently we are, or should be, re-believing the issues of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental illness and even politics.  In these areas we become so polarized that no healing can take place because we are so tribal we won’t allow it.

The love that Jesus models is one of compassion.  It is a love of listening. But when we fear that we might change our minds and believe the earth is round we put up guards so that no matter what, we won’t allow it.  There are some developing countries today that will not receive medicines from the West because they believe its poison.  How do we open our minds to see what God is doing in our very midst today?  Jesus is always brand new!  He is so much more than the little Sunday School Jesus of our childhood.  We all should approach Jesus with new expectation to see what God is doing through him today, and believe so that Jesus can do his work.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people.

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