The sea of Galilee is the place where seventy percent of the early Jesus miracles took place. Not only did He stay at Peter’s house in Capernaum, but it was here that the multitudes of the sick, the blind, and demonically oppressed came for healing and deliverance. If the mountians surrounding the sea could talk we would have more books on all the testimonies of Jesus wonderful miracles, and compassionate heart He gave showed to everyone. He healed them all.
But are they? One of the gifts of the Feast of the Epiphany is the realization that Jesus came for ALL people. When we see representations of the Magi coming to worship the new King, we notice that they are of mixed races. We are aware that they are not Jews, but they seem to know that the star they noticed “at its rising” is a sign that the promised one has been born. At this moment in time, seem to be having difficulty seeing that we are all images of the one God, brothers and sisters regardless of race, nationality or religion. We have some choices to make in this New Year. We can follow the example of Jesus who welcomes all, or we can follow the example of Herod who wishes to destroy. The road to peace is a bumpy one and requires effort. It is a road of acceptance, compassion, forgiveness and taking responsibility for our actions. We can choose to fuel the fires of division and hatred, or we can choose love. As we count down the last few days of this Christmas season, let us decide how we want the world to look. What is the legacy of all our prayers during Advent and Christmas? Let us open our arms to receive one another in peace and love so that all may feel welcome in our churches, our neighborhoods and our community.
Do not be deceived by the party culture. Do not be lured by alcohol. While wine and beer and other alcoholic beverages are popular and promise a good time, more often these drinks make fools of us. Too much alcohol leaves one intoxicated. When someone is intoxicated, he/she does not make wise choices. When we listen to the crowd or the promise of fun or relief alcohol claims, we are being foolish. True relief only comes from faith in Jesus Christ. Ask him to help you resist the temptation today.
Dear God, give me wisdom to know when I am being led in a foolish direction. Help me to resist the temptation of alcohol today. I know it is not only leads to foolish decisions, it is also dangerous. Give me the courage to turn away from alcohol or anything offering false promises of happiness. You are the only thing that will bring me true fulfillment. Thank you for giving us refuge and courage to battle temptations such as these. Please use me to help others struggling with these temptations, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.