Fifth Sunday after Epiphany- Week of February 7, 2021
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: Holy God, by your Son’s example we can live together in a way of love. Help us go out and share that love with others. Amen.
Reflect on the Way of Love together: This week’s practice in the Way of Love is GO. In this week’s text from Mark, Jesus and the disciples go out to proclaim the good news with others. Have you ever travelled to another place in order to share the good news? What happened? How can you share the good news in your own neighborhood?
Adult and Small Child
Read: Mark 1:29-39
Reflect: During this time after Epiphany, we hear a lot of stories about the amazing things that Jesus did. This story is no exception! Jesus heals a member of Simon’s family, and then goes on to heal many other people, too. If you were one of these people who Jesus healed, how would you respond? Would you keep it to yourself, or would you be so excited that you’d tell other people? I think I would try to tell others!
Jesus and his disciples didn’t just teach, or heal, or share God’s love with people in one city or town. Instead, they travelled around sharing God’s love with everyone! I wonder if someone has ever told you about Jesus’ love, or if you’ve told someone else about Jesus? We are disciples of Jesus, too, and we also are supposed to GO out and tell others that they are loved!
Respond: We might not be able to travel much right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t GO and share the good news with others! Color a picture or write a note (or email) to someone and let them know that Jesus loves them. You might even make a yard sign or a banner for a window for your neighborhood to see.
- Victoria Hoppes
Adult and Elementary
Read: Mark 1:29-39
Reflect: Staying home, standing far apart, wearing masks: this is how we have been trying to help people stay healthy. It has made a lot of us uncomfortable, but many people have to do things that are way more uncomfortable. Doctors and nurses are asked to go towards sick people; to be with them and to care for them. Their jobs are to help heal people whenever they can. And if you talk to these people, many do it because they believe God wants them to or a feeling in their heart tells them it's the right thing for them to do. And God or that feeling causes them to step out of their comfort zone.
the disciples to step out of their comfort zone to try to heal the
sick. Jesus and the disciples went into lots of different and new lands
because they felt that's what God was asking them to do. It may not be healing
the sick but God is always asking you to do something as well. I wonder
what God is asking you to do and where God is asking you to go to do it?
Respond: Have a
conversation with your family about times each of you has stepped out of your
comfort zone. What was the situation? How did you feel before and after
stepping out of your comfort zone? Now, think about ways that you could step
out of your comfort zone this week. Maybe all of you share something you
could do together. Perhaps just one of you has something and you all can help
that person step out of their comfort zone. Whatever it is, do that
thing. Go to that place. Meet that new person. Try something
adventurous or strange.
- Patrick Kangrga
Adult and Youth
Read: Mark 1:29-39
Reflect: We know that Jesus was known for healing the sick. In this story, we find one of the first instances of when Jesus did this. Simon’s mother-in-law was very ill with a fever. All Jesus did was touch her hand and she was instantly healed. Not surprisingly, this was a huge shock to her and everyone else who saw it. How was he able to do this? Of course, everyone who witnessed the event went and told everyone in town that they knew. Then, Jesus began to heal many others in the town. The next morning, Jesus got up very early and went to pray. He literally stopped and took this moment in his very busy day to be alone and be with God. We see that Jesus set an example for us in so many areas of our life. He taught us how to love people, minister to people, preach the Gospel to all people, serve all people and today we learn that he also taught us the importance of taking time to stop and be alone with God.
Respond: Where can you go to be alone with God? Is it in your room or a special place outside? What is the best time of day for you to be alone with God? For Jesus, it was early before the sun was even up. Block out a time each day to just be with God. Need help with the idea of praying? Look to this website to see a variety of ways to pray that might be helpful. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to pray. All that matters is the time and effort you give to try and be alone with God.
- Lauren Wainwright
Adult and Adults
Read: Mark 1:29-39
Reflect: In Mark’s Gospel, right from the very first chapter, Jesus and the disciples are on the move, with him preaching, teaching, and healing as they move from town to town. Little did they know that, quite soon, he would be transferring those responsibilities on to them. In this week’s Gospel story, we encounter the moment when Jesus and his first group of followers leave their hometown. We too, are called by Jesus to be on the move. As loved and comfortable as our home congregations can make us feel, there are invariably people who would not feel at home there. Perhaps our buildings aren’t physically accessible to them. Perhaps they belong to a vulnerable community that has historically been abused by the church. Whatever the reason, our gospel call must drive us out of our buildings and into the wider world. In our own time, the internet has made this easier than ever before. What are some communities to whom you might be called to demonstrate God’s love?
Respond: “Evangelism” is a scary word to many mainline Protestants. It may call up images of aggressive preachers on street corners, or intrusive home visits. But “Evangelism” simply means the practice of the good news. It is everything we do to bring God’s love in Christ out into the world. Spend some time this week researching the missionary efforts of the Episcopal church. You may be surprised at the multiplicity of ways that people are called to serve, not just abroad, but also right in our own backyards. This week, challenge yourself to make at least one social media post about your faith. It could be as simple as an interesting question that came up for you in your most recent worship service, or you could ask people to share their favorite Bible verse or verse from the Scripture of their own tradition. The possibilities are virtually endless!
- Jessica Davis
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