Happy Epiphany-tide to you. We celebrated our first Eucharist of 2022 having celebrated Christmas Lessons & Carols last week. It has been a good week in Chuckatuck, moving forward from Christmas into the Epiphany Season. We’ve had a bit of winter this week – snow, cold (for Suffolk), and wind. Thankfully, over the holiday we had enough rain to fill the pond and the birds and critters are happy. This morning had a blue heron, some hooded mergansers, and geese swimming around. While we have reinstituted some practices for safety, including masking and keeping our distance, we are able to have in-person worship on a limited basis. There is room for you – come join us.
In worship we celebrated the Baptism of our Lord, the first Sunday after the Epiphany. We heard the call to remember that all who are baptized in Jesus’ name are part of the same family. And all who are family have the benefits of community. Our Hebrew scripture lesson from the prophet Isaiah painted a picture of the benefits of being in community, especially one that is focused on a relationship with God. Because we are with God there is nothing to fear of this world; even though we will be beset with challenges, we will never lose our place in the family. Our psalmist sang a song to remind us that all honor and glory belong to God. God is also able to move heaven and earth for God’s purposes. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles relayed the inclusion of “the Gentiles” in Samaria with the believers who were Jewish Christians. Our gospel reading tells the story of Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan and the coming of the Holy Spirit and declaration that Jesus is God’s son.
Our sermon focused on the importance of family and community. We are reminded that all who are baptized are part of one family. Yet our inclusion is not simply to make us homogenized, rather we come together in our uniqueness to make something greater than the sum of the different parts. And institutional growth comes from the extension of our boundaries to those who may not be exactly like us.
I invite your comments,
Readings: Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 29; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
Video of worship: https://youtu.be/wjdteGD8KTc