January 3, 2018

Epiphany (RCL Year B)

Psalm 110

1The LORD said to my Lord,

“Sit at my right side,

until I make your enemies

into a footstool for you.”

2The LORD will let your power

reach out from Zion,

and you will rule

over your enemies.

3Your glorious power

will be seen on the day

you begin to rule.

You will wear the sacred robes

and shine like the morning sun

in all your strength.

4The LORD has made a promise

that will never be broken:

“You will be a priest for ever,

just like Melchizedek.”

5My Lord is at your right side,

and when he gets angry

he will crush

the other kings.

6He will judge the nations

and crack their skulls,

leaving piles of dead bodies

all over the earth.

7He will drink from any stream

that he chooses, while winning

victory after victory.

Proverbs 1:20-33

20Wisdom shouts in the streets

wherever crowds gather.

21She shouts in the market places

and near the city gates

as she says to the people,

22“How much longer

will you enjoy

being stupid fools?

Won't you ever stop sneering

and laughing at knowledge?

23Listen as I correct you

and tell you what I think.

24You completely ignored me

and refused to listen;

25you rejected my advice

and paid no attention

when I warned you.

26“So when you are struck

by some terrible disaster,

27or when trouble and distress

surround you like a whirlwind,

I will laugh and make fun of you.

28You will ask for my help,

but I won't listen;

you will search,

but you won't find me.

29No, you would not learn,

and you refused

to respect the LORD.

30You rejected my advice

and paid no attention

when I warned you.

31“Now you will eat the fruit

of what you have done,

until you are stuffed full

with your own schemes.

32Sin and self-satisfaction

bring destruction and death

to stupid fools.

33But if you listen to me,

you will be safe and secure

without fear of disaster.”

James 4:1-10

1Why do you fight and argue with each other? Isn't it because you are full of selfish desires that fight to control your body?2You want something you don't have, and you will do anything to get it. You will even kill! But you still cannot get what you want, and you won't get it by fighting and arguing. You should pray for it.3Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons.

4You people aren't faithful to God! Don't you know that if you love the world, you are God's enemies? And if you decide to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.5Do you doubt the Scriptures that say, “God truly cares about the Spirit he has put in us”?6In fact, God treats us with even greater kindness, just as the Scriptures say,

“God opposes everyone

who is proud,

but he is kind to everyone

who is humble.”

7Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you.8Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who can't make up your mind.9Be sad and sorry and weep. Stop laughing and start crying. Be gloomy instead of glad.10Be humble in the Lord's presence, and he will honour you.

Getting the most from God's Word

As you embark on this Journey, here are four steps to invite God's Word to challenge and encourage you.

  1. Pray

    Pray with focus and openness to see what God has for you. God, connect with me here, as I seek You in your Word.

  2. Read

    Read the selected section of scripture slowly. Take note of intriguing words and phrases. Read them a second time.

  3. Reflect

    Reflect on what strikes you as you read. What does this passage of Scripture teach you about God's values?

  4. Respond

    Respond to the passage. Speak to God directly about what's on your mind and hear. Look for ways to live out what you've uncovered.