If this week and next week feel like they are out of order, they are. Since worship was cancelled on February 1, we will be doing on February 8 what was planned for February 1. For those of you who follow these weekly readings and devotions online, the ones below were originally planned for next week.
Devotion: Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.
Pray: Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.
Jesus who performs miracles, open our eyes to see the miracles you perform on this earth each and every day. Stir in us wonder and awe at the things you accomplish in this world. Amen.
Reflect: Reflect on the key verses from Sunday’s reading.
And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:20-21
Study: Study the reading and consider the background.
Miracles and healings were not unusual in Jesus’ day. Many prophets and healers were able to perform them. The miracles and healings of Jesus drew attention to Jesus, and Jesus used those opportunities to tell people how much God loved them. What set Jesus apart from other miracle workers and healers was that he genuinely had been given the authority to perform them in God’s name. Jesus was also the only one ever to be raised from the dead.
The interactions between Jesus and his disciples is of interest in these accounts. First, Jesus’ initial command to them was to feed the crowds themselves. Perhaps he was trying to tell them that they had it within them to call upon God for help in performing such a miracle. Second, Jesus invited Peter to walk on the water with him. In both stories, Jesus tried to show that the disciples had been given God’s authority to perform miracles, to preach, teach, and heal, just as he himself was doing. Read: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. After the reading, ask the follow-up questions.
Follow these stories of Jesus and his followers.
Sunday, Matthew 14:13-33, Feeding 5,000
Monday, 2 Kings 4:38-44 Elisha and miraculous food
Tuesday, Matthew 9:18-38, Healings of Jesus
Wednesday, Matthew 10:11-15, The Twelve Apostles
Thursday, Matthew 10:16-42, Coming Persecutions
Friday, Matthew 11:1-19, John the Baptist
Saturday, Matthew 11:20-30, Woes
What kind of environment did Jesus and his followers step into when they agreed to preach, teach, and perform miracles? How did people respond to their words and actions?
Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”
- What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
- Who are the miracle workers and healers in your community? How are they recognized? How are they rewarded?
- What is God’s role in healing and the working of modern miracles?
- How much authority has God given you that you are reluctant to claim?
- What might you accomplish if you accept responsibility for the gifts God has given you?
Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.
Do one thing this week that honors the gifts God has given you that you have been reluctant to claim or use. Share your plan with someone who can hold you accountable for following through with your actions.
Copyright © 2014 Clergy Stuff. Used and Adapted with Permission. Find more at http://www.ClergyStuff.com.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Blessing written by Pr. Chip Borgstadt.