Article

Epiphany Forever
SUNDAY, January 13 – 10:00AM

Sunday begins a new series entitled Epiphany Forever. During this season of Epiphany, which continues until the first Sunday of March, the lectionary scriptures invite the church to explore the different ways in which you and I make Jesus Christ real in the world. I suggested in a recent sermon that another word for epiphany is broadcasting. How do you live out the values and realities of God and Jesus in such a way that other people can see and hear them and be drawn to live their lives in more loving, compassionate and hopeful ways?

There has been a long history in the life of the church of reading the story of the baptism of Jesus on this Sunday. Jesus chose to begin his public ministry with the very visible act of going to the River Jordan, joining a crowd of other people being baptized, and then asking his cousin, John, to baptize him. He was making clear to everyone that his faith was something that was something he wanted everyone to know about. He was identifying with faithful Jews who saw baptism as a very external sign of their commitment to God’s way. The story ends with a voice from heaven saying “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.” At the moment of this very public act, Jesus knew that he had a very special relationship with God.

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 (Common English Bible)

The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.” The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.”

When everyone was being baptized, Jesus also was baptized. While he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit came down on him in bodily form like a dove. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”

 

What does your baptism mean to you? Do you even remember your own baptism? I was only a few weeks old when i was baptized, so I have no memory of the event. Baptism is the powerful moment of recognition of a strong relationship with God, in which, every one of us is named as a beloved child of God.

Do you sense that you are a beloved child of God. Are there people around you who could find significant healing for their lives if they only knew that are a beloved child of God? How can you and I best “broadcast” this reality in this season of Epiphany?

 

Prayers please for:

Lois Adamek

Ginny Baldauf

Peggy & Paul Blankenship

Jim & Johanna Brownell

Pat & Gordon Close

Erma Johanson

Vivian Noble

 

Please also keep our grieving families close in prayer.

The family of Dorothy Snook. A memorial service for Dorothy will be held on February 9 at 2:30pm

The family of Ligaya Vopata following her death on December 31. The memorial service will be held at church on Sunday afternoon, January 13 at 2:00pm.

Karen Humphrey and the family of Ken Clarke. Ken’s memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 12 at 2:00pm in the sanctuary.

The family of Betty Metcalf. A memorial service will be held in the sanctuary on January 19 at 2:00pm. Please keep Norman, Chris, Kitty and the whole family in your prayers.

The family of Merri Sue & David Brown following the death of David’s brother, Ken Brown.

The family of Ruth Burgess

The family of Hal Miles

Commands