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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jan 02, 2014 | Comments (0)


First Sunday in Epiphany

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the First Sunday in Epiphany

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. He is the complete revelation of God’s will of grace for salvation. Grace is the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life.

The Gospel of grace is: rather than trying to be more faithful to become faithful, we become faithful by feeling the Faith God already has for and in us.

The Strength of Christianity is Grace

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Another name for Jesus is "Grace". Another name for God is "Grace". We are saved by GRACE. "Love" is not Love if it is not grace. This is true for "Faith", "Hope", "Joy" and all other theological words of significance in the scripture.

Until someone experiences the grace gift in their lives, all other theological words have no real meaning. Why not begin to use the word "grace" in place of "Jesus", "God", "the Spirit", "Love" and so on? It might seem inappropriate to do so. However, until it is actually experienced it will make no sense at all.

That is what this year is all about. Grace, did you get it?

Finding Grace in Our Life

Prayers are from the Collects for the weekly Scriptures.

Pray this prayer:“Father in heaven, Grant that all who are baptized into His Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior.”

Now quietly move into God's Presence and pray the prayer again: “Father in heaven, Grant that all who are baptized into His Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior.”

What was the difference?

Epiphany

Matthew 3:13-17 John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented.

Epiphany is the season that comes from the baptism of Jesus to His transfiguration. It is a long season and in one respect it is a dull one. We just got out of Christmas and now there is the Lenten and Easter season coming. The Epiphany hymns of “We Three Kings” and “Go tell it on the Mountains” can only be sung just so many times.

However, it is imperative we do not miss the Epiphany season. Not the Sundays, but the whole season. It starts with the baptism and then it ends with the Transfiguration. The Greek word for “transfiguration” is the familiar “metamorphosis”. It is the plain looking moth turning into the beautiful butterfly. That is the difference. The Epiphany is about a spiritual transformation from the inside-out. Physical changes take place from the outside in.

How do you solve your problems? Most of those we solve are from the outside in. There are two ways we solve problems by our self. Which one did you choose? Did you change the situation so you could feel good about it? And it worked, didn’t it. Perhaps you can think of a problem you solved that you could not change. How did you solve that? It was by changing your attitude about it. You changed your thinking and that worked pretty well. Now which is the problem that you still have? You have not been able to change it. You tried but could not find a good thought about it. The real problem with that is we changed the way of our thinking.  When we change something there generally is no guarantee that it will not change back. You see, when we change our thoughts the old thought is still there and lying in wait. Sometimes it just buries itself in our memory and we never know when it will pop up. When it does, we may not even see it coming and may not know it is what it is what it is when it does come. It takes intensive psychotherapy to discover the thought and then to overcome it. If we cannot find the thought we will fall victim to it.

Our problem is trying to change things. We have to be able to control things to change them. Some things are just uncontrollable. There are some events that happen that are not changeable and there is nothing we can find that we can think good about them. Here comes the psychologist who can help us find something that is good about it. If we can’t find it, there is no closure for us.

This is the time for the epiphany to come forward. First there is the baptism. We all have the Holy Spirit of Jesus in us. We do not have to undergo the physical water all over or every time. It is a matter of opening ourselves up from the inside. Wonder what difference feeling His Peace will make in your decision. Feeling His Presence is the baptism part of it. Listening and finding the different His Peace makes is the transformation part of it.

If you get it, you can understand and believe it is real. However, you cannot explain it to others because it is not rational. It is a conscious event. The difference between change and transformation is: one changes the thought to change the feeling. Transformation changes the thought through the feeling. What are transformed are all the negative thoughts that create our feelings from the past, present and future. Think about it. What feeling of stress do you have when you think about something that is unchangeable? Now get into His Presence of Peace and then think of the event. Do you get it? It is impossible to feel stress and at Peace at the same time. The Peace wipes out the stress. You get a chance to see the event in a new life. You are not the light. You are called to bear witness to the light that gives you the Wisdom. It is an inside job.


THE DISCIPLE-SHIFT: The Virtual Small Group: Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.


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