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Blog Posts
Bible Reading Plan Seasons: Epiphany
Bible Reading Plan Seasons: Epiphany

Rich Shipe • December 29, 2018

We are continuing our one year reading plan through Seasons. You can download the whole pdf here.


Below is the introduction to the Epiphany section:


If you’re not very familiar with the Church Calendar, you’ve probably never heard of this particular season. It’s often overlooked, and aspects of it, for better or worse, tend to get lumped into the traditional celebration of Christmas. But, even though it might seem obscure and confusing on the surface, Epiphany proves an essential part of the gospel—the story of Jesus.


Epiphany, which literally means “to show” or “make known,” is about Jesus Christ being revealed as both the divine Son of God and as Savior to the whole world. There are three specific stories within the Scriptures that mark the season of Epiphany. First, though typically connected to the Christmas narrative, the journey of the Magi reminds us that Christ came not just for the Jews but also for the Gentiles, showing God’s heart for the nations and the continued fulfillment of His promise to Abraham. The two other events that mark Epiphany are the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and the miracle at the wedding feast in Cana. Both events, in their own way, reveal the divinity of Jesus Christ.


Focused on the coming of Jesus as the Son of God and the hope of the nations, Epiphany marks a time of celebration, rededication and declaration. It is a season for us to affirm the truth that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, the Word who became flesh to dwell among us, who was sent from the Father by the Spirit to reconcile people of all tribes, tongues and nations back to the Father by the Spirit. And, as we affirm the manifestation of Jesus Christ, we are called to renew our faith in Him and to proclaim the good news that Jesus came to save sinners—both Jews and Gentiles. Some even say Epiphany serves as a sort of break between the coming of Christ and the passion of Christ, a season to rest in the promises of God fulfilled.


At the beginning of every year, our culture becomes obsessed with New Year’s resolutions and aspirations for the future—if we only looked a certain way or did a certain thing. And as Christians, we often find ourselves caught up in this false story—a story of narcissism, materialism and romanticism—that says we can be better and feel better if we just try harder. But Epiphany offers a counter-story, a different way of starting the new year: By entering the story of Jesus, remembering and rejoicing in the manifestation of Christ as Lord and Savior of the world, we are then compelled to renew our union with Christ and to manifest Christ through the way we live our lives.

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End of year giving details
End of year giving details

Rich Shipe • December 22, 2018

All gifts to Harvest Ashburn must be received OR post-marked by December 31, 2018 to count as 2018 giving. The 2018 tax giving statements will be given to you by the end of January 2019.


I encourage you to submit your giving to God and to not miss the opportunity to worship him through your giving. We personally automate our giving through the online giving tool at our website so it is easy for me to let it become a mechanical ritual. It is consistent but it can become out of sight and out of mind. I try to remind myself to stop and reconsider it and praise God for his faithful provision.


Giving is another amazing way that we have seen him work both in our personal giving over the years (The Shipe family) and in our church. Our family had a period of time in our life when our income was seriously reduced but God directed us to give more than we were giving in the past. We trusted him and he provided! He faithfully provides for the work he calls us to do!


It is not about amounts. God does not need our money. It is about trust and following his leading. Remember to prayerfully seek his direction in your giving. Follow his lead and you will see him work!


Important truth #1: He already owns it all. He doesn't need it.


Psalm 24:1 (ESV) The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.


Important truth #2: Giving is a great anecdote to the chocking sin of putting our trust in money.


Matthew 6:21 (ESV) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Important truth #3: Give as God directs you personally and he will provide to you everything you need to fulfill his mission for you.


2 Corinthians 9:7–8 (ESV) Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.


You are loved!


Rich Shipe

rich@harvest.bible


Harvest Bible Chapel Ashburn

P.O. Box 4801

Ashburn, VA 20148

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