Getting Out the WORD - the third sunday after epiphany PDF Print E-mail

the PRAYER. . .

Lord God, your lovingkindness always goes before us and follows after us.  Summon us into your light, and direct our steps in the ways of goodness that come through the cross of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING. . .

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.   (matthew 4:23 )

the DEVOTION. . .

Read a passage like this and it's tempting to pull out a map and begin to connect the dots.  Bethlehem to Egypt.  Egypt to Nazareth.  Nazareth to the Jordan to the Wilderness and back.  However, the gospel isn't about geography.  It's about god!  And as such, these words are meant to be a contrast - and a contradiction - to everything the People, once, held holy!

You see, in Jesus' day, according to popular opinion, God was rooted in Jerusalem!  God was anchored on Mt. Zion!  Held captive within the Holy-of-Holies!  Unable and unwilling to move!  It was the People who came to god!  Not god who went to the people.  "I was glad," sang the psalmist, "when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the LORD!'"  Glad because that's where god could be found!  Where god could always be found!  Faithful!  Steadfast!  Immoveable!  But, now, there's Jesus...  going throughout Galilee...  teaching...  proclaiming...  curing...  not in Jerusalem...  not on Mt. Zion...  not in the Temple...  but "AMONG the people"!

Now, for us, in Christ, god is where we live and move and have our being!  The world becomes Jerusalem!  Our home becomes Mt. Zion!  And our life...  OUR life...  becomes the dwelling place!

bob barndt, pastor
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