Grace and peace to you on the first Sunday after the Epiphany and as 2021 becomes a reality. We’ve been toying around with winter this week, at least Southside Virginia winter. It was a bit nippy at church this morning but, thankfully, the wind had subsided a little. We’re still working with limitations on attendance and, thankfully, we have avoided parishioners becoming infected with the virus. But some in our extended families have not been as lucky. But, we continue to do our part to reach out from our Parish to our community to bring hope and help to our society. We also gather to pray for our world, our nation, and our community in this time of pandemic and social unrest. May God bless you as you live into your baptismal covenant – to seek and serve Christ in all others.
Today we celebrated the Baptism of Jesus on the 1st Sunday after the Epiphany. Our New Testament reading from Acts reminds us that it’s not enough to repent and return to God. We need to take the next step and receive the Holy Spirit and follow where the Spirit leads into the world. The gospel lesson from Mark was the recounting of John the Baptist baptizing in the Jordan and firmly stating that he wasn’t the messiah or the one who was to come – just the messenger preparing the way for the Messiah. Our Psalm served as a reminder that we will be strengthened by God and we will find wholeness when we live with God – no matter what may befall us.
Our sermon focused on our Old Testament lesson from Genesis. We heard the recounting of the first day of creation and how God brings order to creation. In creation, God is not a magician but one who takes action to intimately order and reorder creation. Not doing away with differences but establishing diversity to reflect the whole. This reminds us that everything begins and ends with and in God and that all we do is because of God. Nothing in creation is too small for God’s direct attention.
I invite your comments,
Readings: Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11