Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, February 2, 2020 — 4th Sunday after the Epiphany

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/revised-common-lectionary-complementary/2020/02/02?version=NIV
Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, February 2, 2020 — 4th Sunday after the Epiphany
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Teaching Wisdom
Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12

Opening Statement
Who are the people of God? Not those with correct beliefs or worldly wisdom, but those who act with justice and compassion, who walk humbly with their God; those whom the world might call foolish because they choose to live kingdom values rather than worldly values; those who go against the status quo and work to bring about God’s beloved community on earth, here and now.


The Beatitudes


Opening Prayer
God of our lives, to your Beloved Child: you are always turning the world upside down, calling us to follow you into new ventures, new challenges, new ways to care, new ways to touch the hearts of all. When we get tired, or feel disappointed, remind us that you can bring change and hope out of the most difficult situations, so that we may do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with you always. Amen.


Prayer of Confession
(Micah 6, Psalm 15, Matthew 5, 1 Corinthians 1)
Far too often, O God, we desire to look wise in the eyes of the world. We have not spoken truth with our hearts. We have said and done hurtful things to our friends. We have forgotten our true identity, wandering into ways that are not yours. We have lost the path of true worship, focusing on form and words rather than deeds. We have forgotten what true discipleship is. And because of this, you have a quarrel with us. Forgive us and help us live into becoming the people you have created and called us to be: people of justice and love and truth and humility, and yes, even foolishness. May we be fools for Christ, embracing our true identity, even in the face of the world’s scorn and derision.


Words of Assurance
(Micah 6, Matthew 5)
God has called us and blesses us when we live God’s ways and not the world’s. God’s love embraces us even when we fall short of what God desires for our lives and actions. Know that the God of blessing loves and forgives us with a fierce tenderness. And in so knowing, may our lives and souls be transformed.


Prayer of the Day
Holy God, you confound the world's wisdom in giving your kingdom to the lowly and the pure in heart.  Give us such a hunger and thirst for justice, and perseverance in striving for peace, that in our words and deeds the world may see the life of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


First Reading
Micah 6:1-8
The offering of justice kindness humility
6:1 Listen to what the Lord says:

   “Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;
     let the hills hear what you have to say.

2  “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;
     listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
   For the Lord has a case against his people;
     he is lodging a charge against Israel.

3  “My people, what have I done to you?
     How have I burdened you? Answer me.
4  I brought you up out of Egypt
     and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
   I sent Moses to lead you,
     also Aaron and Miriam.
5  My people, remember
     what Balak king of Moab plotted
     and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
   Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
     that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”

6  With what shall I come before the Lord
     and bow down before the exalted God?
   Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
     with calves a year old?
7  Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
     with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
   Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
     the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8  He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
     And what does the Lord require of you?
   To act justly and to love mercy
     and to walk humbly with your God.


Abiding on God’s holy hill
1  Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
     Who may live on your holy mountain?

2  The one whose walk is blameless,
     who does what is righteous,
     who speaks the truth from their heart;
3  whose tongue utters no slander,
     who does no wrong to a neighbor,
     and casts no slur on others;
4  who despises a vile person
     but honors those who fear the Lord;
   who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
     and does not change their mind;
5  who lends money to the poor without interest;
     who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

   Whoever does these things
     will never be shaken.


Second Reading
Christ crucified the wisdom and power of God
1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

   “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
     the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”


Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in great in heaven. Alleluia. (Matt. 5:12)


The Gospel
The teaching of Christ: Beatitudes
5:1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

He said:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
         righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of
         righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Here end the Lessons


Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message


We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


The Beatitudes - Hillsong (with lyrics)

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Daily Lectionary for SUNDAY, February 2, 2020 — 4th Sunday after the Epiphany
Teaching Wisdom
Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12

Topsy-Turvy Blessings



Our Gospel message comes to us today from the 5th chapter of Matthew, beginning with the 1st verse.

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:1-12)

Dear Heavenly Father, you have revealed yourself to us through your Word, recorded in the Scriptures, spoken by the prophets, but most clearly through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, your Word become flesh. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, open our hearts and minds to your Word, that we might perceive your presence among us, embrace your truth for our lives, and gain the courage to witness to others of your redeeming grace. This we ask in Christ’s holy name. Amen.


“Topsy-Turvy Blessings”

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.”

Jesus’ words in this sermon on the mount sound very comforting, very uplifting, very comfortable. I think that most of us, when we hear these beatitudes read from scripture, try to place ourselves somewhere in the list. We may listen and think, “ah, I’ve been merciful to people at times.” Or we may sit and remember a time when we made peace with a friend or a relative. Typically, we hear these words as a great promise, because we like to see ourselves included on those that Jesus describes as blessed.

But what does it mean to be blessed? Does it mean that we have physical possessions, that we have a house to live in or lots of things to surround ourselves with? Think for a moment. Who are the people in this world who we consider the blessed ones? Is it the person who won the publisher’s clearinghouse sweepstakes? Is it the person who has a big house, a boat, a vacation home up north? Is it the person with no debt and no bills? Is it the executive with the big three who are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year? Is it the parents who just had a healthy baby or the kid at school whose parents just bought her a brand new car? Far too often, the people we consider blessed are those who have THINGS!

In today’s gospel lesson, Jesus uses the word “blessed” differently. Although the world may seem that the rich and powerful or the high and mighty as blessed, Jesus says that God has blessed the lowly, the meek, the poor, the hungry. Jesus takes the prevalent worldview and turns it upside down.

Do any of you remember the Disney movie from a few years ago called Hunchback of Notre Dame? As the story goes, once a year, the people of Paris have a street festival. On that day, everything is topsy turvy, sings Clopin, the narrator-jester. At that festival, they crown the king of fools, who is the ugliest, most hideous person there. Why do they crown the least likely person, sings Clopin? Why, because everything is topsy turvy! A king becomes a clown, and a clown becomes a king, he sings.

At that festival, Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bell-ringer of Notre Dame, is crowned the king of fools. He put the top in topsy-turvy, sings Clopin. Jesus’ words about being blessed strike us in sort of a topsy-turvy fashion. Those who seem to be less fortunate, who look like they are not as “blessed” as we are, turn out to be those who God proclaims as blessed, as fortunate. The fortunate ones in God’s eyes are those who are at the bottom of the heap of humanity. What seems up is down, and what seems down is up. Jesus reminds us that God’s ways of seeing things are sometimes topsy-turvy from the way we see things.

The beatitudes are not “entrance requirements for the kingdom of heaven,” but descriptions of the nature of God’s rule. Jesus is not pronouncing the blessing; that is, his words do not cause the blessing. Instead, Jesus is describing a situation that exists. According to Jesus, when the rule of God is fully realized, the people who will benefit are those who now have no reason for hope or cause for joy, who seem to have been denied their share of God’s blessings in this world. The people that Jesus describes as blessed people are those for whom things have not been the way they ought to be. For such people, the coming of God’s kingdom is a blessing, because when God rules, things will be equalized.

Our response to the beatitudes should not be going out and trying to make ourselves meek, or poor in spirit, or hungry, or righteous. Jesus may call us to that action later. Still, here, Jesus is merely disputing the conventional wisdom about who is “blessed.” Jesus is not telling us to become those people. He is telling us to look at those people through God’s eyes. Although we may not think of people in those situations as blessed, God’s view is different. The poor in spirit, the meek, the peacemakers, are blessed, not because they are virtuous, but because they have something to look forward to in the great divine reversal.

St. Paul writes about the cross being foolishness to those who are perishing. These Beatitudes of Jesus illustrate the kind of foolishness that is spoken through the cross. What looks like topsy-turvy day is only an example of the reversal of fortune that will be found in the kingdom. Those who looked blessed are not, and those who seem cursed are those who are blessed.

The poor in spirit, those who seem to be downhearted now, will gain the kingdom of heaven. Those who mourn, who weep for the pain of their loss, will find comfort from God, even if the world will not give them the time of day. The meek, those who seem not to have any power or authority, will gain land. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who try to do what’s right no matter what the reward or punishment is, will be filled.

Jesus isn’t trying to get us to try to be meek, poor in spirit, or even merciful. Nor is Jesus telling us that we can find out who’s going to heaven by judging their situation in light of the beatitudes. What we can learn from the Beatitudes is to see who God is focused upon and what we should do about it.

How should I act if history is headed toward a dramatic reversal of fortunes for the poor in spirit and the pure in heart? How could I treat the poor or the hungry or the thirsty if there will be a day when things will be reversed? How might I respond differently to the mourners or meek that I see on the street if I knew that God was ultimately concerned about them?

The Micah text reminds us of what we can do to see the fulfillment of the kingdom. What does the Lord require of us? To be meek? To become poor in spirit? To hunger and thirst for righteousness? No, “God has told you what is good, and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” We have a responsibility to those who are described in the beatitudes. We have a responsibility to act justly, to show kindness, and to walk with God.

As Paul says, “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” Yes, things may look topsy-turvy, but through these situations, God is shining light on us, lifting us up. The message of the cross may seem like mere foolishness, crazy festival nonsense. But God uses the weak things of the world, the foolish things of the world to show forth God’s glory.

If God can love you, if God can love me, then surely, we can love those who look foolish, those who seem weak, those who appear to be less fortunate. May God give us wisdom to seek the foolishness of the cross, and the weakness of Christ crucified.

Let us pray: Let us pray: Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Keep us from being preoccupied with money and worldly goods, and with trying to increase them at the expense of justice.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Help us not to be ruthless with one another, and to eliminate the discord and violence that exists in the world around us.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Let us not be impatient under our own burdens and unconcerned about the burdens of others.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Make us thirst for you, the fountain of all holiness, and actively spread your influence in our private lives and society.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Grant that we may be quick to forgive and slow to condemn.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Free us from our senses and our evil desires, and help us to fix our eyes on you.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Aid us to make peace in our families, in our country, and the world.

Lord Jesus, you said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Make us willing to suffer for the sake of right rather than to practice injustice; do not let us discriminate against our neighbors and oppress and persecute them. Amen.


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Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Sermon contributed by Rev. Carla Powell.
When death comes close, it is painful. The faithful mourn. Even in this, the Lord tells us, we are blessed because He will draw close to bring comfort. Jesus’ Beatitudes are a splash of frigid water in the face of the self-righteous, but a cup of refreshing water for God’s forgiven saints who are weary of the ways of the world. The beatitudes are a description of what life in the kingdom of God looks like.

The Daily Prayer for SUNDAY, February 2, 2020


The Daily Prayer
SUNDAY, February 2, 2020

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple

On February 2, the church remembers Jesus’ presentation at the temple in Jerusalem. Along with their newborn son, Mary and Joseph brought a sacrifice of two pigeons, the offering permitted in the law of Moses for those too poor to afford a lamb (Lev. 12:8). Despite their lack of wealth, however, these peasants from Galilee carried in their arms the salvation of the whole world. Simeon and Anna, a holy man and a devout woman of Israel, immediately recognized the incalculable value of the present they had brought. We sing “Simeon’s Song” to train our eyes to see the salvation of the world in the presence of the poor.

This quote comes from the apocryphal writing known as the Acts of Peter: “Unless you make what is right left, and what is left right, what is above into what is below, and what is behind into what is in front, you will not learn to know the Kingdom.”

Things are topsy-turvy in your kingdom, God. The poor bear gifts of great worth, the dead rise, the meek inherit the earth. Teach us how to live in an upside-down world where we are called to welcome the outcast, prepare a feast for the ragged, and forgive those who offend us. Amen.

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, February 2, 2020

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/verse-of-the-day/2020/02/02?version=NIV

1 Corinthians 2:9
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him
Read all of 1 Corinthians 2

Listen to 1 Corinthians 2

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Domingo 2 de febrero de 2020

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2020/02/02

Que nuestro caminar sea firme

Siempre tengo presente al Señor; con él a mi derecha, nada me hará caer.

Es muy común que los problemas de la vida nos roben nuestra confianza en Dios.

Llegar a un país extraño, la separación por una situación migratoria de tu familia, un divorcio, un hijo en las drogas, una desilusión en tu iglesia, una traición de un amigo… Son tantas y tan comunes las situaciones que te menciono hoy que es muy fácil que tú y yo podamos estar pasando alguna de ellas.

Sabemos que no todos tenemos la misma resistencia al dolor ni todos tenemos la misma capacidad para enfrentarnos a la vida. Sabemos que esas situaciones nos pueden aturdir y hasta nos pueden alejar de Dios. Incluso, a menudo culpamos a Dios de lo que nos está pasando y por error podemos tomar decisiones fuera de su voluntad.

¡Qué riesgo es vivir la vida sin tener a Dios de nuestro lado! ¡Qué peligro es desafiar a Dios a que podemos vivir sin Él y hacer nuestra voluntad!

Ahora quiero que aprendas algo: Dios es AMOR, Dios es COMPASIVO, Dios es JUSTO y es PADRE. Y al que ama corrige. Por favor, no quieras experimentar la corrección del Padre. Entrega este día toda soberbia, todo orgullo, y ríndete en los brazos del Único que puede cambiar tu situación.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Es muy común que los problemas de la vida nos roben nuestra confianza en Dios.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, February 2, 2020

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2020/02/02
SATAN’S TACTIC OF PRIDE

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

We each have to come to terms with Satan's deadliest tactic, which the Bible calls pride. Ever since the Garden of Eden, Satan has promulgated The Great Lie: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5b). We all must learn to overcome pride, which was Satan’s own initial sin and which is his pervasive and repetitive tactic against us.

In Proverbs 6:17, “haughty eyes” are first on the list of the seven things that are an “abomination” to God. Proverbs 27:2 adds, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth.” Christ spoke of pride in Luke 18:14 when He instructs, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Over and over again, we are reminded in the Bible of God’s utter disdain for a prideful spirit.

Why does God have so much to say about this issue? Because, ultimately, a prideful person is saying, “I don't need God. I can do it on my own.” As our Creator and Sustainer, God has the perfect plan laid out before us. Attempting to “go it alone” will only lead us down a path of self-destruction. No one knows that better than God—He has seen pride destroy the lives of His creations throughout time.

In the Old Testament, we see an example of this in the life of King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:28-37) until he acknowledged the Most High God. We also see it in the life of King Belshazzar, who saw the handwriting on the wall and received judgment because of his pride (Daniel 5: 22-31).

In the New Testament, the Pharisees, filled with self-righteousness, denied the work of Christ, even as He stood before them. The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians to “not take pride in one man over against another” (1 Corinthians 4:6). Peter repeats the warning about pride from Proverbs 3:34.

Pride is so devastating because of its deceptiveness. C. S. Lewis said, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.” We may easily point out pride in the life of someone else, completely oblivious to the stranglehold that pride may have in our own lives. Pride causes us to focus solely on being “better” than someone else. Don’t compare yourself to others; compare yourself to Christ. Remember where you came from, and recall what God has saved you from.

When all else fails, God may allow adversity into our lives. Nothing gets our attention better than going through a difficult time. He allows these experiences in order to filter out pride, causing us to return our focus on Him. As much as our prideful spirit may disagree, we cannot live a fulfilling life without God. Simply put, when God is out, pride is in!

RESPONSE: Today I will keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and steer clear of pride’s deceptiveness.

PRAYER: Lord, I need Your help to keep focused on You and avoid pride’s stranglehold.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Daily Devotions - February 2, 2020 - O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20200202

"O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair"

Feb. 2, 2020
♫ "O wondrous type! O vision fair, Of glory that the Church may share, Which Christ upon the mountain shows, Where brighter than the sun He glows!

"With Moses and Elijah nigh, The incarnate Lord holds converse high; And from the cloud the Holy One, Bears record to the only Son." ♫
Have you ever wondered what heaven will be like? We know we will be in the presence of God, "at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8b). Do you imagine streets of gold and jeweled walls, as the heavenly city is described in the book of Revelation? Perhaps you think of heaven in terms of paradise, a lush, green garden, a place to walk with God as Adam and Eve once did in Eden. Our hymn points us to another "vision fair" of eternity, to Him who is both way and goal, both aim and end. This vision is a "wondrous type," that is, a glimpse into the future or, as film-goers might say, "a preview of a coming attraction."

Not long before He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, Jesus took three of His disciples, Peter, James, and John, up to a high mountain. There the Lord, who took on human flesh for the sake of our salvation, briefly clothed Himself in the divine majesty that was His from all eternity. His face shone like the sun and His clothing like white light. The prophets Moses and Elijah, already enjoying eternal rest, appeared beside the glorified Savior. Together the three held "converse high" as they discussed "His departure, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem" (Luke 9:31b).

We would like to have listened in on that conversation, as the Lord Jesus and His faithful prophets spoke of His "departure," His exodus, that is, His coming death, resurrection, and ascension. Yet we don't really need to know all that was said on that mountain because this "vision fair" of Jesus in exalted glory gives us a glimpse of what lies ahead for us, "of glory that the Church may share." Washed clean from our sins in the blood of the Lamb, we—by God's grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit—follow as He leads us out of sin's slavery into the promised land of eternal life in His presence.

The glorious vision was not quite finished. From a bright cloud, the voice of God the Father bore witness to His Son in words we are privileged to hear: "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him" (Matthew 17:5b). The terrified disciples fell facedown to the ground until Jesus came and touched them. Then, no doubt to their great relief, they "saw no one but Jesus only" (Matthew 17:8b). This was the Jesus they knew and loved. This is the Jesus we know and love, the Savior we follow until our exodus comes and we finally see Him face-to-face.

THE PRAYER: Lord of majesty and might, help us by Your Spirit to listen to You and to follow You faithfully until we see and share for all eternity the glory You have won for us. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  1. Do you ever wonder what God looks like? If so, what do you think?
  2. When Jesus was transfigured, Peter wanted to put up shelters for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, so they could all stay there. Can you blame him?
  3. How can we stay close to Jesus throughout the day?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair!" Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Do you ever wonder what God looks like? If so, what do you think?

Unser Täglich Brot - Zeit für das Schöne

https://unsertaeglichbrot.org/2020/02/02/zeit-f%c3%bcr-das-sch%c3%b6ne/

Zeit für das Schöne

Lesung: Jesaja 61,1-7 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: 2. Mose 29-30; Matthäus 21,23-46

Ein Kopfschmuck anstelle von Asche, Freudenöl anstelle von Trauerkleidern.

Es war Januar. Beim Aufwachen erwartete ich dieselbe öde Winterlandschaft, die mich schon seit Wochen grüßte: braune Grasbüschel im Schnee, grauer Himmel und dürre Bäume. Aber heute war es anders. Frost hatte in der Nacht alles mit Eiskristallen überzogen. Die sonst tote, deprimierende Landschaft glitzerte in der Sonne, sodass ich von der Schönheit fast geblendet war.

Manchmal sehen wir unsere Probleme ohne die Vorstellungskraft, die aus dem Glauben kommt. Jeden Morgen erwarten wir Angst, Schmerz und Verzweiflung und rechnen nicht damit, dass es auch anders sein könnte. Dass Gott in seiner Kraft Heilung, Wachstum und Sieg wirken könnte. Die Bibel sagt, Gott ist der, der uns durch schwierige Zeiten hilft. Er heilt zerbrochene Herzen und befreit von Fesseln und Bindungen. Er tröstet die Trauernden mit einem „Kopfschmuck anstelle von Asche, Freudenöl anstelle von Trauerkleidern und Lobgesang anstelle eines betrübten Geistes“ (Jes 61,3).

Dabei ist es nicht so, als wollte Gott uns in unseren Problemen einfach ein bisschen aufmuntern. Er selbst ist vielmehr unsere Hoffnung. Auch wenn wir erst im Himmel wirklich Erleichterung erfahren, ist Gott jetzt bei uns, ermutigt uns und lässt uns oft einen Blick auf ihn erhaschen. Und vielleicht können wir mit Augustinus sagen: „In meiner tiefsten Wunde sah ich deine Herrlichkeit und war geblendet.“
Wie kannst du dich in Schwierigkeiten an Gott wenden? Was kann daraus Gutes entstehen?
Treuer Gott, gib mir den Glauben, den ich brauche, um durch den heutigen Tag zu kommen, und hilf mir, dein Handeln zu erkennen.


© 2020 Unser Täglich Brot
Es war Januar. Beim Aufwachen erwartete ich dieselbe öde Winterlandschaft, die mich schon seit Wochen grüßte: braune Grasbüschel im Schnee, grauer Himmel und dürre Bäume. Aber heute war es anders.