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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jan 09, 2014 | Comments (0)


Second Sunday in Epiphany

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Second 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.

Find the difference between doing His will to be transformed by His grace (Legalism) and being transformed by His grace to do His will (Grace).

"Almighty God, Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ's glory."

What was the difference?

Epiphany

John 1:36  The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi, where are you staying?”  Jesus said to them, “Come and see.”

Epiphany is a spiritual inside-out experience. The feeling of His Presence transforms our thought about the event. The rational outside-in thinking tries to change what we think about the event to transform our feelings.

We find this thinking in the Gospel lesson today. It is about two disciples Andrew, and most likely John. John does not like to mention himself. Although he does not mention his name, he calls himself “The Disciple whom Jesus loved.” Outside-in thinking believes this disciple was the one that Jesus loved. It sounds pretentious that Jesus would love one more than the other. Inside-out thinking knows his name “John” means “The Beloved”. That is as close to his name you can get. The author was just referring to his name not his relationship with Jesus as a special person.

The “outside-in” story goes that Jesus asked them what they were looking for. They replied, “to find out where he was staying.” Jesus said come and see. That is it; no more no less.

You cannot understand inside-out thinking unless you can see the outside-in thinking first. It is important to know the difference if you are to tell the difference.

Inside-out thinking starts with Jesus. It did not refer to what they were looking for outside.  He was referring to what were they looking for inside. They responded with an outside thought, where are you staying. Give me a break! Couldn’t they come up with something better? Well, not if you are thinking outside. Jesus responded with no argument, come and see. Come and see not where he was going to stay, but where He was from to stay.

Let us put the question to you. What are you looking for? We need to know we are all looking for just one thing. We are all looking for a good feeling. No one does anything that they think will not get them a good feeling. Even the terrorists that blow themselves up do it for a good feeling when they get to wherever they are going.

Outside-in thinking is looking for something outside to give them good feeling. We will find a lot of good things that feel good to us. The problem comes when we find something that does not give us a good feeling. All the past atta-girl or atta-boy feelings disappear. The ten good things are wiped out by one bad feeling. We try to change it and we do and we feel good. That is the seduction that keeps you doing it as you did it before. How come it doesn’t work now? We will have to work on changing our thoughts. Here is a good one. Great, now I feel good! But suddenly there is another thing we cannot change nor find a good thought to get a good feeling. We are stuck in the past. Trying to forget it is like trying to forget the thought of a pink elephant. I told you to forget it. And there it is back again.

We need a transformation. That is, inside-out thinking. What difference does it make when we are looking inside for our feeling. The feeling of the Peace will change the thought that was creating the feeling. We can have the same old thought but, in His peace, the feeling is gone. Therefore, the same thought is not the same thought. It is now an insight of Wisdom!

Did you get it? We are in a transforming season of epiphany. Get it before we get to Lent.


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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