Sunday Devotion: The Ongoing Epiphany of Christ

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Bible Readings for Sunday February 20th, 2011 – The 7th Week of Epiphany

*Click on each bible passage to expand the text.

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18

Psalm 119:33-40

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23

Matthew 5:38-48

  • You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. – Leviticus 19:18
  • Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? – 1 Corinthians 3:16
  • Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5:48

1 Corinthians 3

11. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.

The great irony is, that Christ added hardly a word to the law. He simply restated it, often as an epiphany, which would then shed understanding and clarity on meaning to the listeners of the day.

This is not to say that anything was lacking with the law and the prophets before Christ. It was out ability to understand and see as God sees, loves, and thinks that was lacking then, and now.

But every time there is a new and deeper understanding to something held inviolable, there is always a backlash. Not necessarily because the new understanding is incorrect, but more so because new epiphanies require us as individuals, us as systems, and us as societies to change.

When empires, cultures and religions are static and repulsive to new epiphanies, they always fail.

For example:

The Outdated Understanding

Leviticus 24:19

19. Anyone who maims another shall suffer the same injury in return:
20. fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; the injury inflicted is the injury to be suffered.

The Epiphany Understanding

Matthew 5

38. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
39. But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;
40. and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well;
41. and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.
42. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

This is the nature of epiphany.

Nothing really is new, but the understanding is pushed further and further towards God’s perfect understanding.

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Humanity’s retributive justice transforms into divine restorative justice, a cycle of revenge is traded for a cycle of compassion, a culture of violence is transplanted for a culture of pacifism.

It continues today, in you!

What epiphanies will you offer?

Trig Bundgaard About Trig Bundgaard

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Romans 5
"18. Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."

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