All posts by Rachael Clark

Third Sunday After Epiphany — The Rev. Karen C. Barefield

Isaiah 9:1-4                                                  
Matthew 4:12-23

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer. Amen.

“When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea,
in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali….” (Mt 14:12-13)

Of the four Gospel writers only Matthew includes these geographical details.

Jesus moves his residence from Nazareth to Capernaum to fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah:
“There will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.” (Isaiah 9:1)

Continue reading

The Holy Name — The Rev. Karen C. Barefield

Numbers 6:22-27                                                        
Philippians 2:5-11
Luke 2:15-21

In the name of the one, holy and living God:
who was, and is, and is to come. Amen.

“The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Num 6:24-26)

What a delightful way to bring in a new year…with blessing and peace.

While today is New Year’s Day, it is also the day we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Name.

Holy Name…that means Jesus, of course. Continue reading

Christmas Day — The Rev. Karen C. Barefield

Titus 3:4-7
Luke 2:8-20

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

“Mary treasured all these words
and pondered them in her heart.” (Lk 2:19)

This one line of today’s scripture invites us to engage a holy pause…
a pause for which I am grateful.

The chaotic, busy, noisy hubbub of Christmas preparations,
which at Wal-Mart began before Halloween this year,
have subsided, at least for an hour this morning… as we gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

A birth, perhaps chaotically engaged as Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem while nine months pregnant and then scrambled to find a place – ANY place – to actually give birth to Jesus and lay down for a rest. Continue reading

Christmas Eve — The Rev. Karen C. Barefield

Isaiah 9:2-7
Luke 2:1-14

In the name of the one, holy and living God:

in whom we live and move and have our being. Amen.

In those days when Barak Obama was President and Donald Trump was President-Elect, and while Pat McCrory served as Governor, some immigrant farmers were working in the fields, and an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people; to you is born this day a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord….

Do not be afraid. Continue reading