Reflections and Readings

Welcome to January 2022

Scriptures, special days

and invitations to brief reflections and prayers.

Open Bible

As we turn the page to a new beginning, let’s start 2022 with a fresh mind and a clear heart.

January 1, New Year’s Day – Saturday
“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.’’ Isaiah 43:19
Prayer suggestions: thankfulness for 2021 and guidance for 2022.
January 2, Epiphany Sunday
Jeremiah 31: 7-14 (The people return home, singing and dancing)
Ephesians 1: 3-14 (Our inheritance through Jesus Christ)
John 1: 1-18 (The Word became flesh and lived among us)

Points to ponder: There are people throughout this world who have had to leave HOME – to uproot their family, to leave family and friends and their culture behind. Some have had to pack and carry their few possessions. I wonder, what did they choose?
Families have been affected by mud slides, over flowing rivers, steamy destructive volcanoes, bush fires, flash floods, earthquakes, lack of food, water, and security. How they must long for the comfort and safety of HOME.
As we look at a new year, how can we make a difference in other people’s lives?
Prayer suggestions: what are we thankful for? Now is the time to pause and look back and, also to look forward.

January 6, Epiphany – Thursday “Discover your gifts, and share your gifts’’
Isaiah 60: 1-6 (Arise, shine, for your light has come)
Ephesians 3: 1-12 (Boldness and confidence through faith)
Matthew 2: 1-12 (The visit of the magi)

Point to ponder: The story of the Magi has always been a source of great joy. Travelers from afar came to the child with gifts. How have we offered comfort/gifts/assistance to our family and community?
Prayer suggestions: for people who are traveling under distressful circumstances and pray our light will shine for others who struggle to see the light within difficult times.

January 9, Baptism of the Lord Sunday – the Holy Spirit comes to Him like a dove.
Isaiah 43: 1-7 (When you pass through the waters, I will be with you)
Acts 8: 14-17 (Converts in Samaria baptized by Peter and John)
Luke 3: 15-17 and 21-22 (Jesus is baptized by John)

Point to ponder: The relationship between Jesus and John was at times trying. Two very different personalities striving for the same goal – they knew so many people were looking for more…security, shelter, safety and a Messiah who would take them out of their discomfort. As the story unfolds and we look beneath the layers of the story each of us is touched in new ways. Look at several literations/translations and versions of the stories to see how others have looked at the complexities and ponder how the words/circumstances touch us.
Prayer suggestion: New year, new ideas, new challenges – pray for yourself and others as we navigate new things in our lives.

January 16, Second after Epiphany
Isaiah 62: 1-5 (no longer called “desolate’’, but now named “delight’’)
1 Corinthians 12: 1-11 (different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit)
John 2: 1-11 (The wedding in Cana – the first miracle)

Point to ponder: Here we are witnesses to a miracle, Jesus truly starts His ministry/His gifts of ministry. Each one of us – we are individuals of course – has various gifts. Let’s take time to honour the gifts of others this week.
Prayer suggestion: Yes, each of us has gifts – this is the time to name others and their gifts and celebrate our sameness and our differences.

January 17 – Monday – Martin Luther King Jr. Day, honours his life and work.
also known as MLK Day of Service – volunteer, pray, strengthen your community and bridge barriers.
Proverbs 3: 27 – (Don’t withhold good from someone who deserves it, when it is in your power to do so”)

January 18 Tuesday – Week of prayer for Christian Unity begins (World Council of Churches)
Theme: We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship Him (Mat: 2:2)
The theme was chosen by the Middle East Council of Churches. ‘’More than ever, in these difficult times, we need a light that shines in the darkness and that light, Christians proclaim, has been manifested in Jesus Christ.’’
A message of hope for the present and the future.

January 23, Third Sunday after Epiphany
1 Corinthians 12: 12-31a (Now you are the body of Christ)
Luke 4: 14-21 (The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.)

Point to ponder: What does it mean to us “now you are the body of Christ’’?
Does this refer to the ‘church’ or the individuals? What are we called to do and to be as the body of Christ? What gifts do we have and how can we share these gifts with others?
Prayer suggestion: pray this week for volunteers, emergency workers, medical staff, bus drivers, garbage collectors, snow plough operators – etc. etc., all those who make our lives safer and more secure. This will be a long list.

January 25 Tuesday, Week of prayer for Christian Unity ends

January 30 Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Jeremiah 1: 4-10 (Before you were formed in the womb, I set you apart)
1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 (Love is patient and kind)
Luke 4: 21-30 (Jesus is driven out of Nazareth)

Point to ponder: The text message from 1 Corinthians is so familiar to us from wedding ceremonies. Yet, the words apply to us and our communities. Being patient is not always easy and being kind takes some learning and practice. During these Covid times our patience has sometimes been very thin and yet there have been times of incredible kindness. How have we fared during the past months/years? How have we been patient and how can we offer kindness to others?
Prayer suggestion: Pray or all those who are lonely, lost and grieving. The days of darkness are difficult for many. Let your light shine for them as you name them in a sacred time of prayer.

I bid you peace and the gift of hope. Shalom Phyllis B

thanks to Wilf Pond