Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Start your devotion time by praying this prayer: Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collects: Contemporary, Book of Common Prayer, p. 215)
Adult and Small Child
Jeremiah Sierra is currently the communications manager for Cities of Service, a nonprofit that works to change the way local government and residents work together. He has worked for a variety of other nonprofit organizations and Episcopal churches, most recently Trinity Church Wall Street, where he was the managing editor of the quarterly magazine. He has written for Forward Day by Day and other publications about faith. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three-year-old daughter.
Read: Matthew 4:12-23
Reflect: Sometimes you might be playing with your toys, and your parents or another adult you know will call you. They might call you because they want to tell you something, or they might want to help you if you are having trouble doing something. Sometimes they want your help.
Respond: Draw a picture of fish and cut them out. On each fish, write ways that you can help others and show them God’s love. If you have a magnet, you can tie the magnet to a string then tie the string to a stick to make a fishing pole. Attach paper clips to the fish so you can catch the fish with the fishing pole magnet. (This video has instructions..) As you catch each fish, talk about how you might help other people you know and show them God’s love.
- Jeremiah Sierra
Adult and Elementary
Erin Wolf is a Youth Minister hailing from Little Chute, WI where she lives with her four kids. She serves both All Saints Episcopal in Appleton and the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac.
Her focuses include children & youth, camp & retreats, music, service work, interactive prayer for all ages, and more. You can connect with her via email at [email protected]
Read: Matthew 4:12-23
Reflect: In this reading, we start to hear about the beginnings of Jesus’ ministry within the region of Galilee. He is answering his call to proclaim the good news about the Kingdom of God, and we also see him call his first disciples. In Jesus’ time, a rabbi would typically call followers that had the right amount of schooling; those who were the best of the best of the best. They would have been studying the Torah (Jewish scriptures) since childhood, and they would be among the wisest and most learned within a community. However, Jesus doesn’t call the best students who are the most qualified to share the stories of God. Rather, he calls Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John--all of whom were working with their fathers as fishermen. They are now “fishers of people,” and by inviting regular people to minister alongside him, Jesus is sending the message that all are called to come and be--all are called to enter into the Kingdom of God and to minister to those around them.
Respond: Here’s a simple craft to help you become a “fisher for people,” too! With your grown-up, track down a piece of wide netting, a set of scissors, and some different colored yarns. Cut several 3-4 inch strands of yarn in various colors (younger students will require more supervision with this part of the craft). Think of all the people you know who could use some extra prayer. Either on your own or with the help of your grown-up, start tying pieces of yarn to the net, and as you do, pray for a new person with each new piece of yarn. When you are done, keep your net where you can see it so you may pray each time you notice it.
- Erin Wolf
To whom will you share the good news of Jesus' love this week?
Adult and Youth Katherine is the Coordinator for Youth and Young Adult Ministries and the the rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Kentucky. She live in Louisville with her husband and whichever of her four young adult children happen to be home at the time. Katherine's greatest joy is being a mama: first to her own four and then to all the children, youth, and young adults who call her Mama Doyle. She often finds God in the ordinary messiness of everyday life and writes about it on her blog http://thesixdoyles.blogspot.com/.
Katherine is the Coordinator for Youth and Young Adult Ministries and the the rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Kentucky. She live in Louisville with her husband and whichever of her four young adult children happen to be home at the time. Katherine's greatest joy is being a mama: first to her own four and then to all the children, youth, and young adults who call her Mama Doyle. She often finds God in the ordinary messiness of everyday life and writes about it on her blog http://thesixdoyles.blogspot.com/.
Read: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Reflect: Paul wrote to a community who was struggling with disagreements. The disagreements divided them into camps. Just like in groups or cliques at school and work, the different camps had chosen leaders. Paul reminds them their mutual allegiance is first and foremost to Jesus Christ. Jesus taught the greatest commandment was to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself. Everything must be considered first and foremost by these commandments. Jesus is the model for our lives, our decisions, and our relationships. Unity does not mean conformity. Therein lies the difficulty in families and communities.
Respond: As individuals, make a list of what your top values and priorities are—if possible, rank them. Once you’ve made your list, share them as a family. What do you share? Where are there possible conflicts? Talk together about how you can navigate the differences. Make sure to use the greatest commandment as your measuring stick.
- Katherine Doyle
Adult and Adults CJ is a writer and speaker from Brooklyn, NY. He spends most of his time hanging with his family, playing with his daughter, playing basketball, and reading. He's passionate about seeing the gospel spread in his city, in Brooklyn as it is in heaven. You can catch up with him on Twitter @CJ_Quartlbaum or at CJQuartlbaum.com
CJ is a writer and speaker from Brooklyn, NY. He spends most of his time hanging with his family, playing with his daughter, playing basketball, and reading. He's passionate about seeing the gospel spread in his city, in Brooklyn as it is in heaven. You can catch up with him on Twitter @CJ_Quartlbaum or at CJQuartlbaum.com
Read: Psalm 27:1, 5-13
Reflect: We live in a world driven by fear. Every advertisement is trying to convince you that you are missing out if you don’t have the latest (insert thing here). Every other month there is a new documentary that comes out declaring (insert food here) is killing you. The local news only ever seems to be crime report after crime report with (insert cute animal story here) mixed in. We live on pins and needles, walking on eggshells. For those of us who have placed faith in Jesus, we should be able to declare with the Psalmist, David, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1, NRSV). The answer to that question is a resounding no one. As adopted children of God, we get to live with the utmost fearlessness because God is the ultimate protector. Christians who live bold, fearless lives are not afraid to proclaim truth. May God grant us courage and boldness today to live in our identities as God’s beloved children.
Respond: We all have areas in life in which we could be more bold. Make of list of the areas in which you would like God to help you live with less fear. Keep a journal of how you are progressing in those areas over the next few months.
- CJ Quartlbaum
Download a printable copy of this week's devotions HERE.