May God’s grace be on you today. As we pass through the middle of January, with the resurgence of winter weather and rain in lots of the country, it has been a wonderful week at St. John’s. We finally got the heat fully restored in the Sanctuary (after a month) and it was a welcome change over the past few weeks. We have been enjoying our studies of Ruth and Esther, which should continue until Lent. And finally, next Sunday we will have our annual meeting and conversation about the Parish.
In worship, we ask to be more willing to answer the call from God to proclaim the good news to our world, in deed and word. But we are reminded that the work is not for our glory, but for God’s glory. The Epistle from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians stresses that God is not divided. All who proclaim God are tasked with keeping the focus on God, because God is the one who does the work. Our mission is to not empty Christ of his power. The Psalmist sings a song that reminds us that God is our light and salvation and the source of strength and because this, we have nothing to fear in the way the world works. The gospel reading from Matthew is the pronouncement that Jesus should be considered as the one who was proclaimed by the Prophet Isaiah. Later, we hear Jesus call the first of his disciples at Galilee.
Our sermon was based on the reading from the Prophet Isaiah in Hebrew Scripture. The images provided by Isaiah help remind his people that there is a light that will lead Judah (and Israel) out of darkness. Plus the one who leads out of darkness is, in fact, in the darkness which the Israelites feel. Yet, the composition of Isaiah is a mess (beyond the scope of this recap) and our reminder is that God’s work liberates us in the middle of our trauma, our messy lives, and the hiccups of conventional wisdom.
I invite your comments and likes,
Readings: Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 5-13; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23
Listen at: 3_Epiphany_sermon
Video of sermon: https://youtu.be/3DSQY2K2o7U
Video of worship: https://youtu.be/EwZVbNyL_W4