We are in the liturgical season that follows the Epiphany. In this season, we recognize the ways in which Jesus revealed himself to those he encountered in his ministry. The Magi bring their gifts to him, and in that moment they begin to understand who Jesus really is. In the readings throughout this season, Jesus’ ministry with others reveals the true character of God’s coming kin-dom. In this time in between the birth of Jesus and the weeks of Lent that lead up to his death, we pause for a moment. We rest in God’s Spirit.
Contemplation has been one of the themes of our week. It is at the center of our Christian life, as we come to know Jesus but also the concerns of our world.
In today’s reading, the psalmist reminds us of the role of God as creator of all things. God covers the skies with clouds, makes rain for the earth, and gives food to the animals. God is the one who makes mountains and the grass sprout green. God also treasures the people who honor God and wait for God’s faithful love.
There is much to contemplate in these beautiful words. In order to sing this song of praise, we would be wise to ponder the One to whom we offer praise, the One who creates. In our reflection on the Creator, there is also an invitation to think more carefully about creation and our relationship with it, to “contemplate the intersection between the life of Jesus and our own,”* to consider how God is manifest in Jesus but also in the world around us.
*Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009), 97.
Creating God, let us be careful creation keepers who live with deep intention and purpose. Amen.
What is the ultimate source of our strength? All the authors for this week come to the same conclusion: True strength comes from the Lord. Isaiah asks: “Who is like God?” God never grows weary and provides unfailing strength to those who wait for God. The psalmist praises God as the one who lifts up those who are beaten down. It is not those with human strength who are truly mighty but those empowered by God. In First Corinthians, Paul states that he has laid down any form of his own strength so that the gospel may advance. In Mark, Jesus heals many as a demonstration of his power over the physical world. Thus, God’s power is not just a metaphor but a reality.
Read Isaiah 40:21-31. In what ways do you call on God’s unfailing strength? How is that strength sustaining you?
Read Psalm 147:1-11, 20. How do you experience God’s provision in your life? What is your response to God?
Read 1 Corinthians 9:16-23. How are you living out God’s call to you? How has your call evolved over time?
Read Mark 1:29-39. Where is your “deserted place” where you spend time alone with God? What helps you maintain a discipline of spending time alone with God each day?
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