Sunday, December 29, 2013
January 5, 2013 - Epiphany
Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for January 5th: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12 Theme: Epiphany – Discovering Christ Anew; Song: This Little Light of Mine Isaiah: The entire story of Isaiah is the story of the story of moving from exile to freedom, from oppression to well being, from darkness to lightness. This entire story covers 500 years of history. Chapter 60 is part of the ending. People are assured that the “thick Darkness” is about to dissipate. The people who have been thrown out of their land are returning home for the last time. They have dreamed of home, but when they get there, everything is in shambles, everything must be put back together, the future is present, but it looks bleak. Isaiah gives words of encouragement, because while in the midst of darkness the world changed, the world opened up, trade became more affluent. That meant things were getting better, the world would come and help the Israelites rebuild their land, they just had to be patient and see the light present in their lives. We too are a people who live in great darkness. We too are wondering where are hope comes from. The world is changing today, and it is changing for the better. When our light comes and frees us from the darkness, we have to be ready to rejoice in God. Matthew: Last week we heard to horrible side of the story – Herod heard that the wise men had fooled him and not told him when the baby Jesus arrived, so the babies family had to flee to Egypt to escape danger. This week we hear the good news of that story. The wise men visit the baby and bring him gifts fit for a king. This is the basis of the 12 days of Christmas – the difference between when Jesus was born into the world and when the three kings came to acknowledge his birth. This is the time between December 25th and January 6th. It helps us to realize that in our lives there is a period of time between when we are healed and when we realize that we are healed. When we eat, there is a time between when we have eaten enough and when our brains finally realize that we have eaten enough. It sometimes takes us awhile to truly get the significance of the events in our lives – and yet change does come, things get better. Questions: How do you feel about darkness? Are you comfortable, or do you have to wait for the light? What are the signs in your life that things are getting better? What things do you need to take notice of? What is God trying to show you in your life that you have not seen before? Who are the people who are reaching out to help you, how are you treating them?