Monthly Archives: January 2014

3 Epiphany — Leigh Edwards

Isaiah 9:1-4, Psalm 27, 1 Cor 3, Matt 4:12-18
 
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1).
 
These words from the great Prophet Isaiah are a pivotal communication of our Lord’s work in the world. They are stirring, and come bellowing off of the page: Those who walked in darkness have seen a great light.
 
Think about darkness and about light. We live in a world today where darkness is something hardly ever seen. Lights litter our cities, our streets and our homes. We light our cars and put lights in our children’s rooms. Darkness is a rare – and sometimes coveted – thing. What does it mean, then, for Matthew to say that these people have walked in darkness, when many today seek darkness in the wilderness as a prize and a rest from the lights of our lives? Who, we ask as people who spend almost every hour in light, are these people who walk in darkness? Surely not us. Surely not this city.
 
“The people” – Matthew writes, showing the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Jesus – “who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”
 
We must ask, then, who are these people? Wherefore this darkness? And, importantly, whence this great light? Continue reading

2 Epiphany — Rev. Karen Barfield

Isaiah 49:1-7
John 1:29-41

O God, who has come as a Light to the world,
illumine our hearts and our minds
that Your glory may be revealed to the world through us. AMEN.

“What are you looking for?”

Jesus asks this question to two disciples of John the Baptist.

Jesus was walking down the road and walked past John the Baptist and two of his disciples. At that moment John the Baptist proclaims of Jesus, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”

When Jesus notices that these two disciples have fallen in line behind him, walking the road with him, he turns and asks them this question: “What are you looking for?’

All of us sitting here today could very well ask each other the very same question.

“What are you looking for?” Continue reading

Baptism of Our Lord — Rev. Karen Barfield

Acts 10:34-43
Matthew 3:13-17

In the name of the one, holy and living God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifying Spirit. Amen.

It is a curious question that has stumped many over the ages: Why was Jesus baptized?

If Jesus was without sin, and John’s baptism was about repentance, why in the world was Jesus baptized by John?

John himself tried to stop Jesus, protesting: “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

But, Jesus answers: “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.”

Perhaps Jesus was baptized because as God became human to live and die as one of us, Jesus was baptized as we are. Continue reading