Good News: Epiphany Year B Resource for Justice Seekers
When the days are short, the weather is cold, and the festive season is all but wrapped up, couldn’t we all use a little Good News? The Scriptures in the season of Epiphany are all about the identity of Jesus in one way or another, and with that, the identity of our God. It is a season full of “good news.” The Messiah has come, and his identity is confirmed. “Rabbi, you are the son of God.” (John 1:49)
But the “Gospel” – literally “good news or good stories” – passages are not the only place for good news. The First Sunday after Epiphany starts with a biblical passage from Genesis 1:1-5, the beginning of the creation story. As we read further in that story, we hear the repeated statement, “It was good” and “It was very good.”
The Old Testament and the New Testament both begin with goodness. This Good News Epiphany worship resource brings together the creation narrative and the stories of Jesus, leading us to seek out the goodness and good news in our world today. The scriptures lead our hearts to grateful worship and our hands to faithful action in response to the gifts we have been given.
Good News is a worship resource that can be used in any Year B of the Common Lectionary cycle. Note that there are seven sessions. Those who do not strictly follow the lectionary calendar may wish to use the first session on Sunday, January 3, rather than waiting to begin the Epiphany season mid-week on the traditional date of January 6.
Establish a full seven-week series or use just a part of it. Most pieces of this resource, with the exception of individual object lessons, will easily stand alone, or in combination with any others. Use the resource for worship in-person or online. Or take it out of formal worship all together and consider how the stories, prayers and reflections might inspire your prayer circle, planning meeting or personal devotions.
The resources for each of the seven sessions begin with a very personal scripture reflection drawn from the breadth of our KAIROS community, from many different traditions. Here we celebrate the gift that ecumenism is to our lives of collective worship and justice-seeking. These reflections are accompanied each week by an object lesson – which some might think of as the children’s time, but we remind you they are for everyone – a litany, an opening prayer, and a benediction. In addition, there is one substantive Intercessory Prayer which may be drawn upon in full or in part at any point in the season or used in multiple services. An accompanying justice focus shares hopeful stories of resilience and change in the face of climate change.
An abridged French version of Good News is coming soon.
Slides containing images to accompany the Object Lessons are available with each order.
QUESTIONS: contact Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org.