Faith Daily | 18 January 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Epiphany Two
by whose grace alone we are accepted
and called to your service:
strengthen us by your Holy Spirit
and make us worthy of our calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 2: 18-22
18Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.
21“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Michelle Chaoman
Who would fast at a wedding? Only those who use rituals to identify themselves. The Pharisees were continuing to fast as another sign of their devotion to ceremonial law. Many of those ritual laws would become incompatible with the good news Jesus was bringing into the world. Jesus used examples of then everyday items, such as an old garment and old wine skins, to help his followers to understand the dramatic change his ministry would bring into peoples everyday lives. Lives would be changed completely, not by simply adding on additional rituals or laws in a pragmatic way, not just adding ‘new’ to ‘old’.
To follow Jesus was to be made completely new with Jesus being like the Bridegroom who leads his bride to a new relationship and a new way of life. Jesus fulfilled the law completely and His obedience to the path he had accepted, lead to the coming of the Holy Spirit. Those people at the wedding that Jesus was speaking to could not have comprehended how their lives would change when or if they accepted Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus, in his ministry, used many examples in the daily lives of his listeners to teach them a different way to live, work and grow their relationship with God. A personal relationship with God is based on the belief that Jesus was the son of God, that he died, was buried and rose again. A personal faith is based on fellowship with God, God’s love for us individually and God’s faithfulness to His word of forgiveness and grace through Jesus. Growing our personal faith gives us rest and transforms our lives from a godly duty to great joy. The wonderful life we can have with God through Jesus Christ leads to spiritual contentment, to inner peace and to spiritual growth that only our daily fellowship with God can provide.
FINAL PRAYER: Collect of the Week from Jim Cotter "Unfolding the Living Word"
calling us to vie what we most treasure in your service,
as you called your Beloved
to reveal your glory to humankind,
give us courage to respond to your invitation,
wholeheartedly and without reserve,
and give us good cheer to help us on the Way.
We pray this in the Spirit of the living Jesus,
embraced for ever in your glory.