Starting in September, Prince of Peace has been telling our story, hearing from a chronological selection of scripture readings each week. So far, the story has focused on the promises made by God and our readings have added texture to an over-arching narrative that God will always remain faithful to us. We lived deeply into the stories of the Old Testament as we celebrated creation, remembered deliverance from the flood, received the blessings of Sarah & Abraham, were carried out of bondage, re-formed into community, received counsel from judges, kings and prophets.
And in December were-visited God’s promises as we faced changing realities, external threats, lost identities, and the occupation of what matters most by powers beyond our control. Perhaps you’re like us and have felt like something has been missing throughout all of these Old Testament wanderings? Sixteen weeks this community has gathered, without nary a word from our beloved Gospels. These four months of listening for good news from the more ancient of sources has been a trial of sorts, a journey preparing us for something else all together.
This story, of course, is pointing us in a new direction, ultimately to a new day, ushered in on a starlit night, as angels sing and shepherds quake. This story, of course, is pointing us toJesus, Immanuel. God’s promises are no longer an intellectual exercise but now something that can be seen and touched and heard. God’s promised is God’s very self, a child cradled in a manger. And, as the story will soon reveal, a human manifestation of divine love, come to teach and heal and help us to discover things more important about ourselves than what holds us back.
One thing is certain: God has big things in mind for us. And to uncover the “where” and “what” and “when” of how this will play out, we first have to answer the question of “why;” and, in particular, “why Jesus?” During the season of Epiphany, this year the weeks of January and February, our lectionary is firmly planted in the opening half of the Gospel of Matthew. Each week’s featured text will add another piece of the story and another response to “why Jesus? Because Jesus is…”
This Epiphany, listen deeply once again, as we use the stories of the season and the Gospel of Matthew to help us move from promise to purpose and from problems to possibilities. We hope you’ll join us.
Sunday Why Jesus? Matthew
Jan. 6 …Because Jesus is [you fill in the blank]. 2:1-23
Jan. 13 …Because Jesus is relationship. 3:1-17
Jan. 20 …Because Jesus is light. 4:1-17
Jan. 27 …Because Jesus is blessing. 5:1-20
Feb. 3 …Because Jesus knows your heart. 6:7-21, 25-34
Feb. 10 …Because Jesus loves both saint & sinner. 7:1-14,24-29
Feb. 17 …Because Jesus sees the possibilities. 13:24-43
Feb. 24 …Because Jesus is trustworthy. 14:13-33
Mar. 3 …Because Jesus is love. 16:24-17:8
“Why Jesus?” is a worship and faith formation series designed in collaboration with a collection of churches and leaders using theNarrative Lectionary. Prince of Peace partnered in the development of this project and shared a number of resources that have been collected and made available for any participating congregation to utilize. It’s anticipated that upwards of 50 congregations are making use of this series during Epiphany, 2019.