Sermons tagged with ‘Epiphany’

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Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 2016

2016 Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
January 31, 2016
11:00 am

Topic: Blessed to Bring Blessing

The prophet Jeremiah and Jesus were proclaiming God’s truth to a world that did not want to hear the message they came to bring. Jesus knew that his message was not only meant for the people of Israel; and he knew that the people of Nazareth would have a hard time accepting the idea of a prophet for everyone. They were very comfortable with their own heritage as children of Abraham, and their understanding as the people of God. They were offended by the idea that they did not hold exclusive status with God.

Third Sunday after Epiphany 2016

2016 Third Sunday after the Epiphany
January 24, 2016
11:00 am

Topic: Empowered for Abundant Living

Jesus was asked by the leader of the synagogue in Nazareth to read the scripture lesson to the people he had lived with as he was growing up. He read from Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me”. Jesus most certainly felt the anointing of the Spirit by this time in his ministry.

Second Sunday after Epiphany 2016

2016 First Sunday after the Epiphany
January 10, 2016

Topic: Our Baptism is about empowerment

At that wedding party in Cana, Jesus’ divine nature was revealed to his followers: This wasn’t just a trick to turn water into wine: it was about Jesus having Transforming Power. He changed plain water into the finest wine. He changed no wine into 180 gallons of wine. He changed the worry and embarrassment of the hosts into delight. And he changed followers (groupies) into believers.

First Sunday after Epiphany

2016 First Sunday after the Epiphany
January 10, 2016

Topic: Our Baptism is about empowerment

Today we commemorate Jesus’ baptism: And in the context of his baptism, we should look at its meaning for you and for me. There are at least four different baptisms described in our Gospel lesson today. First there was the existing ceremonial baptism, which was used for Jewish purification, and for preparation of people wanting to convert to Judaism. John changed that baptism to be one that Scripture describes as a ‘baptism of repentance,’ which means that its purpose was to signify the commitment of the baptized to change the course of their lives to be ready for the arrival of God in a new way in their lives.

The Last Sunday after the Epiphany

Topic: Empowering Epiphanies

In the Transfiguration story, Peter was dazzled by the vision of Jesus’ face and clothing, and the appearance of Elijah and Moses with Jesus on that mountain top. Peter wanted to memorialize the event by building booths. But Jesus did not even acknowledge the offer. Memorializing was not what Jesus wanted when he invited Peter, James and John to join him that day. Jesus needed to empower these disciples who still thought of him as a rabbi, a teacher. He needed to empower them for their future work as leaders of the church.

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

Topic: Missing Out on Abundance?

In our Gospel lesson today, there are a few examples of living a fulfilling life. Jesus healed Simon Peter’s mother-in-law from being bed-ridden with a fever. When the fever left her, she immediately began to serve Jesus and the four disciples he brought with him. I think she must have been a Martha-type of person. She was fulfilled by being of service to people.

The Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Topic: The Call to Action

There is a thick air of excitement that fills this story of four fishermen dropping their nets and leaving their boats and their jobs, in response to Jesus inviting them to follow him. Jesus does not tell them to repent or to believe. Jesus never asks if they love him (except Peter); or if they will worship him; or if they will lay down their lives for him. Jesus simply tells them to follow him – and they do.