“What is Your Why: A PMS from Jesus”
The texts for this week offer insight not only into Jesus’ identity and calling but also into our own. Jesus emerges from the waters of baptism and hears the truth of his identity: Beloved Child of God. The same can be said of each one of us. While baptism might mark a beginning in the Christian journey, we are called beloved children of God and sent to be the hands and feet of Emanuel: God with us. Isaiah reminds us that this is not a passive identity, but an active calling to God’s work of justice in the world.
Rev. Wendy will preach and we will take a moment to consider our Why – and how we are living out the truth of our identity and calling as God’s beloved – spreading love and seeking justice?
Prayer for the Baptism of Jesus Sunday
Source of all love, as we move through the early days of this new year, help us to remember that we begin every journey drenched in your love. Our identity, our being, our calling begins (and ends and begins again) with you. Amen.
Rev. Wendy will preach.
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10-18
Dinner Disrupts Division: Let’s Eat (and Heal)
In his first letter to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul sees the conflict, tells the leaders: “We are not amused!” and challenges them to live a ‘cross-shaped’ life and maintain the unity of the church. The biblical call for the church to live in harmony notwithstanding, the church since its inception has quarreled and fussed. It seems like nothing has changed. Is the unity of the church a pipe dream? Maybe. But the Dinner (Breakfast) Church movement in the church right now gives new hope. What a concept! It’s amazing what people can agree to when they’re eating. Maybe a simple meal can heal division and bad feelings. Let’s eat!
~~~Prayer for the Third Sunday After the Epiphany
Inviting God, you promised those in shadows to see a great light when we follow you. We try to live in your house, to do as you ask, to drop our nets and come to you, but it can be hard. Strengthen us as we live into our call. Amen.
Scripture: Matthew 5:1-13
Theme: Be the Light: Be A Blessing
In this second week considering Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we hear the connection between obedience to the law and being the salt of the earth, a city on a hill, and a light to the world. We strive to preserve our community like salt, abide in God’s presence as a city on God’s holy hill, and praise God with our good works which shine a light on God’s glory. But, conforming our lives to God’s commands seems like a lofty goal considering how much we struggle to make even small changes in our daily habits. And – our light can be smothered by our own stumbling and self-orientation.
Ministry is bringing Christ’s light into the world in and through each of our lives and in the corporate witness of the church. YOU are the salt of the earth – preservers of community, enhancers of life’s flavors, healing agents, and more – and the cracks in your spirit, heart and soul are the space through which the light can shine!
Rev. Wendy preaches on how being the light is being a blessing!
Prayer for the Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany
Light of the world, be our light today. Creator of life, preserve our life this day. Holy God, pour out your righteousness on this day. Light of the world, we praise you with our hearts, songs, and minds. Amen.
Scripture: Matthew 17:1-9
Theme: Glorious Mystery
As Advent opened, so the Season after the Epiphany closes: on a holy mountain where God may be
found. It is a place of sacred mystery, where shining and shadow convey a holy presence. It is a place of community across time, where God’s people of past and present meet. It is a place of silence and witness, where visions are kept quiet and God says of Jesus, “Listen to him.”
An encounter with the mystery and glory of God can happen in small quiet moments. And, sometimes, it
happens in a flash of blinding light. Join us in beloved circle, sit with sacred silence, witness to the mystery of God, Son and Spirit – and listen to the Word Made flesh.
In this week’s Sunday Circle, we will celebrate the glorious (and sometimes confusing) mystery of the Triune God and wonder together with the deep question: How do we go about listening to Jesus?
Prayer for the Transfiguration
Holy God, you encounter us in places where we seek you, and in places where we flee from you. Ease our fears. Open our ears and eyes to you, wherever and in whomever you reveal yourself to us. Prepare us to journey as you call. Amen.