Living the Lectionary – 4th Week After Epiphany

Living the Lectionary is a weekly devotional tool intended to give you ideas for living out the Word of God that we encounter on Sundays in worship. 

ABOUT THIS SEASON AND SERIES: EPIPHANY – “CHRISTOLOGY”

The season of the Sundays after the Epiphany are sometimes called “Ordinary Time”. This is not because they are without special meaning, but rather, that they are numbered depending upon the date for Easter. It is in this season that we begin already to look forward to Easter by considering who Christ is and what He came to earth in order to accomplish in our series “Christology”. 4th week after Epiphany

ABOUT THE WEEK STARTING JANUARY 31st: THE 4th SUNDAY after EPIPHANY

A part of being in God’s kingdom is having our vocations (literally, the things we are called to do). Law: Like Jeremiah, we are called to do and to be certain things, but we fail to live up to the call perfectly, and do not live up to all that God created us to be. Gospel: Jesus does fulfill His vocation by healing, spreading the good news, and finally, dying upon the Cross and raising from the tomb.

REFLECTING ON THE READINGS

(readings are linked to text on ESVbible.com)

Jeremiah 4:1-10– Jeremiah’s Call – Jeremiah was called by God to be a prophet, but he tries to refuse, claiming his weakness as a speaker and his youth. Surely we are not called to all vocations and there is wisdom in knowing what we are not called to do, but there is also a danger of turning away from legitimate vocations. How do you determine what you are called to do? When are you being wise and when are you just making excuses?

Psalm 71:1-12– Our Refuge in Our Call – God has promised not only to call us – sometimes into situations that may not be the most comfortable for us – but also to be our refuge in the midst of the difficulty of our vocation. What are the difficult things that you are dealing with now in your vocations? How is God a refuge to you in the midst of these difficulties?

I Corinthians 13:1-13 – Mini-Series- the Body of Christ, Part 3 – Paul writes to the Corinthians about what should be the basis of their lives in Christ, the concept of love. Love should be at the center of our vocations and at the center of our function as the Body of Christ. Where might you have room for a little more love in your vocations, especially your vocation as a part of the Body of Christ? How does love empower your connections in your vocations?

Luke 4:31-44– The Vocation of Messiah – We often fail to see that our failure to fulfill our vocations is sin. When we are not the husband, or wife, or employee, or employer, or son, or daughter, or citizen, or church member that we could be, we are sinning against the design that God has for us. Only Jesus fulfilled His vocation (that of being Messiah) completely, and in so doing, renews our desire to fulfill our vocations to the best of our abilities, and because working out our vocations brings us joy. What are you called to do? What are your vocations? How do these things bring you joy?

LIVING THE LECTIONARY IDEAS

Character: Clarity of vocation. We are best when we know who we are and what we are called to. The clearer that we can become in our vocations, the better we are able to live out what God created us to do. Where are you clear about your vocation? Do others share this clarity about your vocation? How might you grow in this character?

Discipline: The Table of Duties. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism included a section called the “Table of Duties” that was meant to help Christians clarify their vocations as disciplines. Review this document by clicking here (PDF). Which of these disciplines might you take on this week or month?

Knowledge: Read Gustaf Wingren’s “Confession of the Doctrine of Creation for an understanding of Vocation and Sanctification” (PDF) and let it blow your mind.

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