Second Sunday after the Epiphany – Year B
January 14 - 18
Gospel Lectionary Text
1:43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me."
1:44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
1:45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth."
1:46 Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
1:47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, "Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!"
1:48 Nathanael asked him, "Where did you get to know me?" Jesus answered, "I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you."
1:49 Nathanael replied, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
1:50 Jesus answered, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these."
1:51 And he said to him, "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
Welcome to the second week after the Epiphany, where the Gospel text echoes the Old Testament story of “Jacob’s Ladder.” Do you remember? After betraying his brother, Jacob, a fugitive, falls asleep in the desert. The heavens open, revealing angels ascending and descending on the place he occupied. Celtic spirituality calls this sort of thing a “thin place,” where heaven and earth meet. As a result, Jacob awakens to God’s loving presence, and he sees his place of desolation as holy ground.
Jesus builds on this familiar story. The heavens open again. This time, however, the angels ascend and descend not on a place, but on a person – “The Son of Man.” In Jesus, the divine and human become one. In Christ, everything is holy. Not the kind of holy that separates and divides, but the kind that unites and makes whole. This is the mystery of the Incarnation.
If the “wholiness” of the incarnation unites and makes whole, what does that say about the kind of “holiness” that separates and divides?
Take Lord and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my entire will, all that I have and call my own. You have given all to me. To you Lord I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will. I ask only for your love and your grace. That is enough. See the complete prayer
Word from Below Reflections
By Pat Thompson |
I watched a movie the other night called “The Orator.” Set on the island of Samoa, in the present day, the film showcases Samoan traditions and values and lifts up universal themes of love, courage and resilience. The protagonist, Saili, is a simple villager, small in stature. He spends much of his time looking for the…
By Ojii BaBa Madi |
I’ve rarely been called the n-word to my face, but I know what people are thinking. I’m a scary looking big dreadlocked 300-pound black guy who loves bench-presses and bicep curls. Racists tend to keep their biases to themselves or mask them in implicit language when I’m around.
By Kris Rocke |
This week’s text is a reference to the story of “Jacob’s Ladder” in the Old Testament and the radical implications of the Incarnation. Remember Jacob’s Ladder? Jacob stole his brother’s birthright and fled into the desert. Eventually he stopped running and fell asleep, exhausted. The heavens opened and he saw angels ascending and descending on...