Epiphany, 3: Go, tell

A weekly Epiphany devotional post for these 5 weeks of witness. Join us!

 You can read here for a brief description of the liturgical season of Epiphany, and see previous Epiphany daybook 2018 posts here

Blessed Epiphany, friends!

*Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.*


Jesus Calling Disciples, John Mosiman (source)

Jesus Calling Disciples, John Mosiman (source)


Song for this week: "Go Tell It On the Mountain", Seabird

Spotify | YouTube

A playlist for the week on Spotify - Epiphany: Go, tell


Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
— Mark 1:14-20 (ESV)

Daily office lectionary readings for this week:

* Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year B). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 2).


Prayer for this week:

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer

Epiphany+3.+prayer+walk.png

This week walk through the neighborhood where you live, work or worship. Pray the collect for this week (above), and ask God to open your eyes to the people and places He's asking you to proclaim the Good News of His salvation. Ask a friend to pray for you to answer readily to what the Spirit reveals to you during your prayer.

Don't miss the special Epiphany blog series where friends of mine from around the world, take us on a virtual walk through their own neighborhoods.


(see all Epiphany posts from 2017 here)

7 Quick January Takes {weekend links}

What I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) Netflix series we binge-watched this week

Somebody Feed Phil

Fun, funny, fascinating, beautiful, occasionally tear-jerking - food, travel, human connections, and a really funny TV writer/producer (Everyone Loves Raymond) turned travel guide. Two thumbs up!


(2) short and sweet stories from my blog feed this week

StoryCorps

Dr. Weaver remembers integrating his high school football team in Knoxville, Tennessee  - It's hard to believe, and so good for us to hear. |  via StoryCorps

Two very curious brothers ask their Dad some outlandish questions - I also love this little audio peek into a relationship between a good Dad and his hilarious sons. 


(3) books I'm reading

Make A List: How A Simple Practice Can Change Our Lives and Open Our Hearts by Marilyn McEntyre - This great little book releases February 27, 2018. I was able to read a preview copy for the next Englewood Review of Books issue

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi - My Mom gave me this book ages ago, and I'm so glad to finally be reading it!

Chicago by Brian Doyle - This is the next title - for the season of Epiphanytide - we've chosen for our reading group at church (Apostles Reads).


(4) vintage winter nature books on my wish list


(5) links in honor of MLK Day

Martin Luther King, Jr - Reading ListThere have been hundreds of books about MLK published in recent decades. Here are some of the best of them. via Englewood Review of Books

Martin Luther King, Jr. – His Prophetic Faith in 15 Quotes - Mainstream American culture tends to have a narrow view of King’s work, limited primarily to his leadership in the Civil Rights movement. However, King’s vision was rooted in the desire for a beloved community in which not only were all people equal but in which all violence, poverty, and injustice were abolished — a vision that flowed from King’s deep faith in the life and teachings of Jesus. | via Englewood Review of Books

Frederick Douglas, American - An excerpt adapted from a speech delivered at Hillsdale College on May 12, 2017, at the dedication of a statue of Frederick Douglass on the College’s Liberty Walk. | via Imprimis

MLK speeches and songs - An excellent collection of links to speeches, music, poems and reflections in honor of Dr. King. | via Global Christian Worship

Embracing the Whole Martin Luther King Jr by Bill Wiser - "As we remember his Dream, let's not fail the man or his message. Only by realizing the gravity of our position and making those hard, but liberating choices can we truly honor The Dream and march beyond it as Martin Luther King did." | via Plough


(6) photos from Christmas with our kids



May your week ahead include true, good, and beautiful things, friends!

SEE OTHER BLOGGERS' 7 QUICK TAKES POSTS HERE.

SEE OTHER BLOGGERS' 7 QUICK TAKES POSTS HERE.

Walking EPIPHANY: encountering Christ in a D.C. suburb

Welcome to the fourth annual WALKING EPIPHANY series of guest posts! This post was originally published in January 2017.

Glorya & DJ Jordan

Woodbridge, VA

 

I've asked a few friends who live around the world to take a walk through their neighborhoods and share some of the ways they encounter and exhibit the presence of Christ.

Glorya and I grew up in the same church in central New York state. I'm enough older for Brian and me to have enjoyed a short stint as her youth leaders. We've reconnected recently and shared frustrations with our country's conversation about race and justice. I'm so grateful for her grace toward me. As a former youth leader, I hope it's okay to say I am so proud of the woman Glorya has become, and I wish I could have heard her Neighborhood Honor Contract idea when my kids were younger! (see below)

 Before we hear from Glorya, here's a brief summary of Epiphany, in case you're not sure.

What is Epiphany?

 Throughout the daily readings in the Epiphany lectionary, we follow the early life and ministry of Jesus as He is revealed as the Son of God, appearing as light to a dark world. He is the very God shining forth, manifesting the glory of God. Oftentimes the accounts are private affairs (Transfiguration), other times public (Wedding at Cana, Baptism).  All of them take place, though, in the places Jesus lived and worked, within the context of his relationships of family, friends, and followers -- the sick, possessed, poor, celebrating, drinking, seeking, religious, fearful, apathetic, discouraged neighbors.  

Walking EPIPHANY blog series

Each of the friends contributing to the series this year has selected from a variety of thoughtful prompts (collected from my subscription to these excellent daily readings) to consider the ways the Light has moved into their neighborhoods. 

Will you join us?

p.s., Don't miss the opportunity to engage with thought-provoking questions for your own neighborhood, listed following each prompt.


 

 

Glorya: Well, my neighborhood is literally made up of people from places outside of the USA. If we were honest, other than Native Americans, everyone in America is a foreigner. I live in Northern Virginia outside of our Nation's Capitol in Woodbridge, VA, where 60% of our county is made up of minorities. My neighborhood, Winding Creek Estates, is very diverse in religion, culture, and race. This car full of women is a beautiful picture of my friends. What does an Asian, Indian, and African-American woman have in common with each other? Not religion; one is a Christian, another Hindu, and another agnostic. Not politics; one is conservative, another liberal, another Independent, and another indifferent. Not occupation; two teachers, one in medicine, and another in finance/IT. So why do we love to spend time together? Because we value each other, we listen and support one another, we learn and grow from each other, we laugh and cry together. Do we agree on all things? Obviously not. But we value each other as people, as women, as mothers, as wives, as whatever various roles we happen to have. I have learned and grown more with these incredible women than I have in my many years in college. I love my neighborhood and the diversity it cultivates. None of us are foreigners, all of us are neighbors and friends.

 

Prompt: Foreigners as Neighbors

In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy, I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.

Pope Francis, from "Pope Francis' Address to Congress" on Sep. 24, 2015

How does your neighborhood embrace foreigners? Are there organizations set up specifically for that purpose? What other signs of “immigrant” culture can you find in your neighborhood?

 

 

Glorya: Our neighborhood is full of many different people, cultures, backgrounds, and religions. We seek to be "in the world but not of the world" by being the home for the "world" to come to. Our grass is not the greenest or best manicured but our home is a safe place to play and be. The boys play a lot of football and basketball. All the kids enjoy the trampoline and the climb on toy. My husband plays with the kids and shows them kindness while they have fun. They all know that bullying, foul language, and disrespect will NOT be tolerated at our house. I actually have the neighborhood kids sign an "Honor Contract". Honor is defined as, "Treating others as special, doing more than what is expected, and having a good attitude." If anyone fails to show honor the other kids can call them on it. If I come outside and hear something inappropriate they will have 1 warning and the next time they have to go home for the rest of the day. At first thought it may sound extreme and not very Christlike, but they actually all appreciate the standard and know they are valued at our home. They know we are different because we are Christians and we seek to be the kind of Christian who makes the lives of others around us, better.

 

Prompt: Salt & Light

The way of being salt and light is a role (a part and position) that Christians are called to in the world.  It is a role that requires us to take up a place in our world, at work, at school, and in the neighborhood.  Christians are called to imagine another world, and to do so by living amid the divisiveness, alienation, suffering, and violence, as well as the good things, the loves and hopes of where we live now.... However, we are called to make a home that is not established on our own authority and perfection, but instead is set on the foundation of repentance, forgiveness, mutual care and correction, and reconciliation.

David Matzko McCarthy, The Good Life

In what ways have you been or do you hope to be salt and light in your neighborhood?
 
Glorya Taylor Jordan, RN BSN CCRN, is an adoptive parent from the foster care system and mother of four. She is an open heart nurse by trade but currently holds the title of CEO of Jordan Family Incorporated (stay at home mom). Glorya sometimes homeschools, serves on the board for CareNet Pregnancy Centers, and, along with her husband, DJ Jordan, volunteers in their church and community to promote justice to those in need --whether it be women in crisis, foster care, homelessness, restoring fathers and families, or addressing social concerns in their local community.

image: Trampolines by Brian Kershisnik (source)  

image: Trampolines by Brian Kershisnik (source)

 


(You can find weekly devotional posts for Epiphany 2018 here.)

Epiphany, 2: Can anything good come out of [your city]?

A weekly Epiphany devotional post for these 5 weeks of witness. Join us!

I fell into a bit of a post-Christmas rabbit hole and missed out on two of my favorite liturgical dates on the calendar - the Adoration of the Magi and the Baptism of Christ. Still, there's so much richness in this season, and I'm looking forward to getting back into the rhythms looking, listening, praying, and doing acts of spiritual practice each day. You can read here for a brief description of the liturgical season of Epiphany, and see previous Epiphany daybook 2017 posts here

Blessed Epiphany, friends!

*Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.*


The call of Philip and Nathanael - a modern icon

The call of Philip and Nathanael - a modern icon


Music for this week: "Kingdom Land (I'm on My Way)", Alex Mejias (lyrics)

Spotify | YouTube

 

A playlist for the week on Spotify - Epiphany: Come, follow


The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.
— John 1:43-51 (ESV)

Daily office lectionary readings for this week:

* Sunday Scripture readings are taken from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year B). Daily Scripture readings are taken from the Book of Common Prayer (Year 2).


Prayer for this week:

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer

Epiphany 3. prayer walk.png

This week walk through the neighborhood where you live, work or worship. Pray the collect for this week (above), and ask God to open your eyes to the people and places He's asking you to proclaim the Good News of His salvation. Ask a friend to pray for you to answer readily to what the Spirit reveals to you during your prayer.

Don't miss the special Epiphany blog series where friends of mine from around the world, take us on a virtual walk through their own neighborhoods.


(see all Epiphany posts from 2017 here)

Christmas Daybook, 12: Eve of Epiphany

Welcome to my final Christmas daybook post for these last 12 days of celebrating. We've been (somewhat sporadically) spending Christmastide with some favorite short films and video clips. What's been your favorite? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section!

An antiquities dealer in Bethlehem shows a traditional container for myrrh, one of the three gifts the Magi brought to Jesus. (screenshot from following video)

An antiquities dealer in Bethlehem shows a traditional container for myrrh, one of the three gifts the Magi brought to Jesus. (screenshot from following video)

 

O Little Town of Bethlehem from Tim Parsons on Vimeo.

The story of the birth of Jesus told by the people of Bethlehem.

We've arrived at Twelfth Night, the culmination of grand festival of Christmastide. I hope your days have been warm, full, and lighthearted. For those of you who've been unable, because of difficulties, to celebrate in that way this year may you know even more deeply the presence of Emmanuel, King Jesus.

Peace be upon you and yours today and into the season of Epiphany light!


Readings for today: Isaiah 66:18-23, Psalm 29, Romans 15:7-13

Prayer for today: 

God of revelation, as we gather in praise for the gracious mystery of your Son, we remember the many needs of your church and your world.

Offer prayers for your community, church, and the world, concluding with:

Guide us on the path of salvation, O God, that the radiance and power of your Holy Spirit working in the world will gather together all peoples and nations in one community to offer you worship and proclaim your splendor. Amen.
— lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/prayers

 

Listen to T.S. Eliot's "Journey of the Magi", or read it here.


(See all Christmas Daybook posts from 2016 here.)