Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Adult and Small Child
Read: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Reflect: Today’s Scripture talks about the body of Christ and how we are all connected to each other and need each other. Just like your body has different parts that work together, so does the body of Christ, which we also call the family of God. Your hands, feet, eyes and ears each have a job right? So does each person who is a follower of Jesus. These are the people who are the body of Christ. Sometimes different parts of our bodies work differently or are hurt. And sometimes people have different challenges or are hurt. Jesus wants us all to take care of each other like we take care of our bodies, so that no part of God’s family suffers. We work together as one to love each other, no matter what our abilities may be, or how big or little we are.
Respond: Do you have a puzzle in your house? Work together to put the puzzle together. Notice together how each piece is important even though each piece is different. Give thanks to God that we are made differently but that we can work together to love God and others.
- Quantrilla Ard
Adult and Elementary
Read: 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Reflect: The early church and today’s church have some of the same problems. Saint Paul talks about an important issue that was a challenge in Jesus’ day and continues to challenge us today. As the church was forming, people were starting to break into cliques and groups, saying that some people were more valuable than others in the eyes of God. Does this sound familiar? Can you think of times when this has happened in your school? In your workplace? In the church? Paul is very clear: It doesn’t matter who we are. Jews or Greeks. Doctors or teachers or trash collectors. Americans or Mexicans or Syrians. Young or old. Smart or struggling, fast or slow. When we are baptized, we become one in the Body of Christ. We still have our individual characteristics – we may look different, speak with different accents, work and play in different ways – but we are part of something bigger than we can imagine. We are part of God’s family, and every one of us – EVERY ONE – is beloved.
Respond: Think of a time when you felt excluded, like your opinion didn’t matter as much or you weren’t a part of the group. How did that make you feel? Do you ever feel that way at home? Talk together about ways to respond when those situations arise. Can you think of people who may not feel included – at school or at church or in your neighborhood? Talk together about ways to respond to include those people. Make a plan to reach out and show them that they are important and loved.
- Richelle Thompson
Are you ready to proclaim your identity in Christ?
Adult and Youth
Read: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Reflect: Paul revealed to the people of Corinth that they each held spiritual gifts that were given by the Spirit. He wanted them to know that although though each of them held a different spiritual gift, each of those gifts came from the same source. These gifts were given to each of the people of Corinth and also to us so that we could wield them for good and help each other.
Some people know their gifts straight away. Some people take many years to finally realize a gift. Regardless of the time it takes to own a gift, we each have them and we can each use our gifts to offer a revolutionary hope to the world.
While one person has immense faith another is great at articulating prayers. While one person can travel to advocate on behalf of families separated at the border, another person can work to organize clothes and necessities for the community. Imago Dei is alive in each of us because God is the great gift giver.
We are well past Christmas when some of us receive gifts, but now is the time to share our inner gifts. Now is the time to share radical hope and immense grace. Are you ready to give?
Respond: This week go through your closets or pantry. What do you no longer need? Consider sharing these with families in need that have been driven to your local bus stations or homeless shelters. Does your church have a yard sale coming up where you can donate your gently used items? If you have a family, make it a family project. Retain the faith of a giving heart.
- Miriam McKenney
Adult and Adults
Read: Luke 4: 14-21
Reflect: I really did not want to write this reflection. Let’s just start there. Someone else – someone much cooler, much more diverse than I - was scheduled to write this reflection. But life cropped up for her – as it does for all of us and so I stepped in. Because this is part of my job – making sure that the reflections get written and published each week. So here I am, doing my job, showing up for the work I feel called to, using my gifts and talents to be a witness to the light of Christ. But I really didn’t want to write this reflection; I really didn’t feel adequate to the task. And then I read this weeks Gospel and I knew there was no getting out of it. Because there is no getting out of being who God has created me to be, there is no getting away from what the call is on my life (though I might try really hard to run from it at times), even though it often makes me really nervous and uncomfortable to stand up and proclaim my call. Which brings me to Jesus in this passage. In this account we see him stand up, in his home synagogue, read from the Isaiah, then after sitting, and perhaps with a bit of reluctance proclaim that he, Mary and Joseph’s son, is the One whom they have been waiting for. The one of whom Isaiah wrote. The Messiah. And I wonder – if we are to follow Jesus, live, move, and minister like Jesus, does this include overcoming our fear to proclaim our own identity? Our own callings?
Respond: Take a moment to sit with this image of Jesus standing up in his home synagogue, perhaps nervously, and proclaiming his identity. What emotions, sights, or sounds come to the surface? On a piece of paper, write down a few words that express your identity or your calling. Don’t worry about if you have “earned” this identity or can “prove” that you have been called. Simply write them down. If you are with someone you trust, share a few of these words, these descriptors. Then alone or together, offer a petition for courage to live like Christ – boldly proclaiming your calling, your gifts.
- Jerusalem Greer
Download a printable copy of this weeks reflections HERE.