Big Decisions

The scripture references in this week’s devotionals are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible.

Monday – Isaiah 60:1-6. We are in the midst of a season in the Christian calendar called Epiphany. It is a time when the church celebrates the magi who followed a star that signified the birth of Jesus. As Rev. Michaele LaVigne says about this season, “God reveals himself to us in ways that we understand. It is the season of being astonished, and it is the season of responding in equally astonishing ways.” In what ways have you been astonished by God? How might God be revealing himself to you now?

Tuesday – Mark 10:13-22. Often times, the Christian faith has the potential to be over intellectualized; intellectual faith is positive, but remember that this season is about God astonishing us in ways that make sense to us. There is something beautiful about the way Mark writes his gospel when he puts two narratives of similar significance directly next to one another: the story of little children coming to him, and the rich man who comes to him. As you read, spend time in wonderment by the words of Jesus. What is he saying that is so astonishing to us?

Wednesday – James 1:5-8. In a world that bewilders us, the reality for Christians is that we follow Jesus because he guides us. Throughout the course of your day, give yourself the opportunity to be amazed and to find solace in this prayer: “Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (Book of Common Prayer)

Thursday – John 8:12-19. Throughout the gospel of John, Jesus describes himself seven times beginning with: “I am…” Here, in John 8, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” Spend time today reflecting on the ways in which Jesus is light in your circles, your communities, and in your world.

Friday – Colossians 3:15. Jesus is our guidance, Jesus is the light of the world, and Jesus is one who calls us to peace. In the same way that we might “pass the peace” on Sunday mornings, we are called to live a life of peace. Theologian Stanley Hauerwas says, “Peace is a gift of God that comes only by our being a community formed around a crucified savior – a savior who teaches us how to be peaceful in a world in rebellion against its true Lord.” This kind of peace is simple yet astonishing. Spend time today responding to this question: How is it that Jesus calls you to be a person of peace?

Saturday – Luke 5:1-11. The beauty of the season of Epiphany is that God helps us unravel the beauty of the character and nature of God in ways that make sense to us and truly amaze us. As you read this passage today, allow God to amaze you – but also to make sense of the Word in ways that only he can empower you.