Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on January 20, 2014.
Prayer: May you, O Lord, guide us to respond positively and share new light. Amen.
Reading: Matthew 4: 12-23 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Imagine how Jesus was feeling. He just heard the news. John the Baptist had just been arrested. In these situations, one might feel that they are powerless. They have not control. They are living in darkness.
So, what does Jesus do? He went to Capernaum and started anew. He started calling disciples to be his ministers. He started to teach and preach and spread the Good News.
For me, this passage is another example of darkness and brokenness being turned into new light. Instead of focusing on the arrest of John and the “bad times,” Jesus instead, “went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.” (verse 23) Perhaps when times are tough for us, we need to change our focus and see new light. –Chad Hershberger
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