Friday, April 30, 2010

The Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

Love One Another

For the Christian, faith is measured by its ability to love. That is the message of the gospel reading for today. It is a good reminder to each of us of our human need for love.

We have heard many times the call to love God and love neighbour. The law, the eternal commandment, calls the community to love neighbour as self. "When you love your neighbour," wrote Kierkegaard, one of the great theologians of the church, "then you resemble God." To love one's neighbour, is to love, not because we have similar interests, to love, not because we are members of the same family, to love, not because we live next door to someone, but to love because we are part of God's humanity. As part of the human family, we are loved. We love because we are called to be like God and God loves.

But, as difficult as this may be to live out, the new commandment of Jesus to love goes far beyond even that.

The gospel passage begins with the departure of Judas. He is about to betray Jesus. Jesus knows that from this point on there is no turning back. The outcome is inevitable. He is going to die. What follows is in effect, a farewell speech.

To those who have been close to him through this time of ministry, he says: "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." It is a new law that demands that we love, not as ourselves, but better than ourselves. It demands that we die for our friends. It is a law of sacrificial love. The kind of love which is lived out only in community by the care we have for one another. The commandment of love within the Christian community is not a rule to live by. It is a gift of the risen and glorified Christ. It is enacted by the community in the breaking of bread and in loving service to one another. It is the fulfillment of our baptismal covenant.

When I was a child growing up in downtown Toronto, there was an elderly woman who lived at the corner of our street, just a few houses away. The children in our neighbourhood were afraid of her. There were stories about how the house was haunted. We would walk on the other side of the street to avoid getting too close.
It is true that she was rather eccentric. She lived alone. She stayed much to herself. She loved to spend time in her garden. And it was a truly beautiful place. I would see her out there early on summer mornings, watering the garden. She always played classical music as she worked. Being a lover of such music, I longed to talk to her about it. One day very early in the morning, so that none of my friends would know, I got up enough courage to visit her. I talked to her from the sidewalk, a safe distance away. She told me that flowers enjoyed good music. And who am I to doubt? Her garden was certainly the most beautiful in the neighbourhood.

Our early morning talks grew over the years and I began to drop in on her in a more formal way. She enjoyed our chats and always had cookies and milk for me. She took to giving me little gifts – one time a note pad, another an old Girl's Almanac. Then one day she gave me a beautiful cameo brooch. When I showed my mother what she had given me, she said that I couldn't keep it. It was too expensive a gift. I was to take it back. I did so rather reluctantly. When I handed it to her, she simply put it aside. I will never forget what she said. "Things are nothing. They are just doorways to people."
There was a deep truth in what she said. What we experienced from each other was a mutual love for one another, love that went beyond love of neighbour. It was a love that allowed me to see Christ in her and overcome all the barriers and fears that society put in place.

The kind of love Jesus spoke about calls us to generosity. It is a giving, not of material goods, but of oneself. It is sacrificial giving. Not many are called to the ultimate sacrifice. But we are all called to sacrificial love. God’s grace is free; love, on the other hand, is costly.

It requires a commitment to a spirit of giving. It is something we experience and live. It is lived out in community by the care we have, one for another. That is why love is the mark of the Christian.

St. Teresa of Avila, one of the great mystics of the church, put it this way. "Let everyone understand that real love of God does not consist of tear-shedding, nor in that sweetness and tenderness for which usually we long, just because they console us, but in serving God in justice, fortitude of soul, and humility."

How do we show that kind of sacrificial love? Do we show it in the respect we have for the human family? Do we really care for our planet? Do we care for, and nurture others? Do we show it in our values in a society that struggles with issues that devalue human life? Do we show it in our response to the aged, the abused, the hopeless? Who do we love? Whom should we love?

Love clearly has to do with caring for others. If we do not care about others, then no amount of churchgoing, no amount of money, no amount of faith, will give us any cause worth working for. How can we even believe in God if we lack concern for others?

Love is not some sentimental thing. It is shown in our lives by our genuine, sacrificial, Christ-centred love for others. It doesn't come naturally, or all at once. We must be empowered to do it. It begins with us, now, right where we are. Once in a while we are graced enough to recognize it and to come to a sudden, clear recognition of the risen Christ who lives in those we love.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year C

The Profile of a Christian

A Confirmation class was discussing what being a Christian entailed. They were asked to use certain passages of Scripture to come up with a job description for a want ad to hire a Christian. The final result read something like this.

Wanted: Dedicated and committed Christian to work for the Lord. Must have the following qualities.
- Pray without ceasing
- Be willing to be the servant of all
- Love God with all one's heart and one's neighbour as oneself
- Always put others needs before one's own
- Follow without counting the costs
- Do good deeds
- Perform miracles
- Be kind and compassionate in all one's dealings
- Work for no pay
- Be a good steward

As a follow up they were asked if they would consider such a position themselves. They talked about the drawbacks, but also about what the benefits might be. I suspect that most of us would find many drawbacks and very few benefits if we were to truly take in what the cost of being a Christian should be.

The early Christians struggled with what it meant to be a Christian. Christianity had never been intended to become a new faith.  They were Jewish.  The link to the synagogue and their Jewish roots was a strong part of their identity.  When the Jewish community became hostile toward the new sect, they had to struggle against persecution.  They were enthusiastic in their proclamation.  They were fervent in their desire to share the gospel message.  They understood their vocation.  God had clearly called them to continue the earthly work of Christ.  They tried always to grow in the image of the one whom they followed.  They struggled with their identity as Christians. 

Our society can certainly understand the need for identity.  It is of the utmost importance to our culture, particularly for young people.  It colours the way we think of others.  We identify people by the way they speak, by the clothing they wear, or by the colour of their skin.  We tend to choose friends who are like us in appearance, in the way they think, in the way they act.  It is very difficult to break into a group with an identity differing from one’s own.

What identifies us as Christians?  Do we have anything which sets us apart as a community?  Do we have a profile?  Surely if we consider ourselves to be set apart by God then there should be distinguishing characteristics in our lives, things which set us apart from the world and make being a Christian different. 

The readings today give us a sense of the profile of the Christian from the perspective of the early church. The Acts of the Apostles tells the ongoing story of the disciples of Jesus following the resurrection. This time the story centres around Peter. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter cannot help but share the Good News of his life and the lives of those around him transformed by the resurrected Christ. Peter and the others continue the work begun by Christ. He is called to Joppa where the community is in mourning following the death of a woman, Tabitha, who spends an enormous amount of time and energy in ministry to those in need. In her own quiet, servant ministry she has had an amazing impact on the Christian community. The women have lovingly brought in tunics and other clothing to display remembering how their lives have been transformed by the compassion and service of this good woman. They offer prayers for each other. They minister to each other.

And then Peter empties the room, approaches her bedside, kneels and prays. It is a simple prayer said in faith. “Tabitha, get up.” Peter's confidence is testimony to the power of God in his life. Hopefully it speaks to the power of the resurrection in the life of the church today, and in our own lives.

The profile continues to build in the passage from the Revelation of John. John was able to look beyond the ragged, frightened band of Christians to what was to come.  He saw himself as part of a world-wide community of faith, a countless multitude of believers.  He recognized the risen Christ within the earthly community, present amid the trials and tribulations of this world. 

The good shepherd passage from the gospel of John with its identification of the characteristics of the Christian gives us a wonderful profile of what it means to be live the Christian life.  For one thing we are belongers.  “You do not believe because you do not belong,” Jesus says to the people who confront him about who he is.  They want to know if he is the Messiah.  They want an easy answer.  A yes or no.  They don’t want to struggle with who he is.  They don’t want to take the time to check it out for themselves.  They want him to plainly identify who he is so that they can believe.  But Jesus tells them clearly that believing is belonging when it comes to one’s relationship with God. 

When we belong, it is like being branded.  There is stamped on our attitudes, our manners, our personalities, the sign that we are owned by God.  That is our belief about baptism. We are signed forever with the sign of the cross. We are branded. We belong to God.
Part of our identity as Christians is that sense of belonging to the community.  It is no accident that people come wanting to belong.  If ministry is to be effective then there must be a strong sense of community.  We may be well organized and efficient as a church.  We may have wonderful programs going.  But if people are not made welcome and given a sense that they belong, our community will not grow. 

Those who belong are listeners.  “My sheep hear my voice,” said Jesus.  While others in our materialistic society listen for the ring of the cash register, we should be listening for the voice of God.  It may be a still small voice.  Or God may be heard in the whirlwind, the thunder, and the chaos and catastrophe of our lives.  If we are listeners then we will hear the voice of God, soft or loud, communicating with us.  Speaking to us through the symbols of our faith.  Speaking to us as we come to worship.  Speaking to us as we celebrate life.  Speaking to us at times of difficulty and despair.  Speaking to us through our relationships with others.  Speaking to us through our sense of community. 

Finally, those who belong are followers.  “My sheep hear my voice,” Jesus says, “and they follow me.”  Following means serving God.  Serving others on God’s behalf.  We serve God in our families and in our daily lives.  We serve in the community, in the political and economic struggles of our society.  We serve wherever lost sheep are struggling to find meaning and purpose in life. 

God calls each and everyone of us to loving service. It is the reason God created us. It is the reason we were baptized. It is why we call ourselves Christians. No matter what role we have or what occupation we choose, to be a Christian is our common vocation. Let us allow God to lead is in new directions, to open us up to new ways of worshipping, to respond to a world in need by living our lives of faith. That is how we will become shepherds to others. That is how we will open the doors of faith to those who would know Jesus, the Good Shepherd. That is how we will get on with the work of being the Church in the world. Thanks be to God.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Special Vestry

We are holding a Special Vestry this Sunday, so I am not posting a sermon.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Second Sunday of Easter, Year C

To Believe or Not to Believe

Readings: Acts 5:27-32; Psalm 2; Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31

The passage from the Acts of the Apostles shows the early Christians beginning to leap into action. Peter and the other apostles have had an amazing conversion from the frightened and ragged band of people who scattered in every direction following the crucifixion. They are speaking out about their faith with a sense of total and exuberant conviction. In fact, they feel compelled to speak the truth as they see it. So caught up are they in what they have experienced that these simple fishermen find themselves addressing the council, the religious authorities of the time, learned people.

It was not an easy time for the Jewish faith! What do you do with converts to a new sect who are so totally enthused and filled with purpose! Peter and the apostles are totally swept up in their cause. “We must obey God rather than any human authority,” Peter says to the council. How would that go over at synod? His sense of commitment to the gospel is unswerving and complete. There are consequences to having such a sense of commitment, but he and the others are willing to take the risk. They face persecution. But what has happened to them is so powerful that there are no other options for them. They have witnessed the risen Christ. It is good news that must be proclaimed and shared. Their faith is compelling them to share what they have experienced so that others can also share the experience.

What a different picture it is from this morning’s Gospel! It is evening on the first day of the week. Early that morning a few of the women had come back to the meeting room with a fantastic story to tell the disciples. They had gone to the tomb to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. The stone had been rolled away giving them easy access to the tomb. Two men in shining clothing had asked them why they were looking for someone who was alive in a place set apart for the dead. The women were convinced of Jesus’ resurrection. Yet obviously the story had little impact on the disciples. For there they were that evening sitting in fear in a locked room.

Not until Jesus is there, standing amongst them, are they able to put aside their hysteria and begin to feel that “shalom”, that wonderful sense of the Lord’s peace that he proclaims to them. They have betrayed him. They have run away in fear. They have been unable to believe what the women so quickly accepted. And yet Jesus is there offering peace. Now they see for themselves.

Except for one! Thomas! Ever dubbed 'Doubting Thomas”! But can you really blame him?
Thomas is not one who could not believe, but one who longed to believe. He had seen Jesus destroyed. He is unwilling to trust. For one thing though the disciples tell him with some enthusiasm that they have seen the Lord, they are still sitting safely behind locked doors. It does not make sense to him. There they are with the best news in the world sitting around moping.

If you saw Jesus in all his resurrected glory would you be sitting around moping? Does it make any sense? It is not difficult to believe in Jesus Christ. But it is often difficult to believe that his followers really believe. Maybe if we did less sitting around in church and more talking about Jesus with our friends, they might know that we do actually believe. They might see how faith has changed our lives. They might see that we live out what we believe.

It seems that, because of my chosen profession, whenever I go to a party with my secular friends the topic quickly turns to religion or religion bashing. Often what people want to talk about is the issues of our day. What do I think about abortion? Divorce? Homosexuality? They want to trap me into saying the wrong things.

Sometimes the questions are directly concerned with faith. Mine, not theirs. For most people are quick to point out that they are not “religious”. “I do believe in God, you know,” they love to point out. Or “I believe in God!” And then the clincher, “I don’t believe in organized religion!” For them being religious is a contagious disease. Even my telling them that my religion is totally disorganized doesn’t seem to sway them.

But I have noticed that most people who corner me and want to talk about the faith are searching for something. They are interested in spiritual matters. They have read something controversial and they want to discuss it. What disturbs me most about that is that often the same people who are unable to accept the gospel message, who are quick to point out its irrelevancies, its inconsistencies, are ready to accept as truth what is written about it. For example, they seem to believe that a novel such as the “Da Vinci Code” is fully researched truth. Why is it that so many people are willing to believe a novel but are unable to comprehend the mystery of the Christian faith?

Is it our failure to communicate the message of the gospel? Is it our lack of commitment to the gospel? Do we lack the kind of enthusiasm of Peter and the other leaders of the early church? Are we still sitting behind doors shut for fear? Are we afraid to speak the gospel truth? In what sense does church life show a closed door to the community? Do we reach out to new people? Do we want to open new books and delve into new liturgies and new music? Do we want to hear about the troubling issues of society? Or are the doors of our minds and hearts shut?

Is it simply too difficult to open our hearts and minds to the faith? We see so much around us that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the resurrected Christ. Problems, tragedies, conflicts. How can we come to believe? And after all it is two thousand years since these events took place. Don't you envy Peter and the disciples? After all, they saw the risen Christ. They talked to him. They were challenged by him. “How much easier it would be for me to lose my doubts, to really believe, if only I had walked in Peter's sandals?” I can hear you saying it.

And yet I know that while I often experience doubts there are times in my life when I have been so convinced that Jesus was real that it carried me through. There was the time when I was as low as anyone can get. I had nowhere to turn. Because of an abusive situation I had to walk away from family, friends, everything! It was the only thing I could do. The night I walked away, I ended up in a Roman Catholic Church that happened to be open, praying. A priest saw me there and began to talk to me. He did not really understand my situation, but he listened. He was Christ for me that night. I made the right decision for myself, confronted the demons as it were, and found a safe place to stay until it was safe for me to return home.

We can believe when we hear the stories of resurrected life around us. We can believe when we see how the wounds life brings can be transformed. We can believe when suffering becomes life giving. We can believe when others tell us how they have experienced the power of the risen Christ. We can believe when we accept the grace given to Thomas and to each of us to touch, to see, to feel. Beyond suffering and pain there is a power of life that brings us close to God and lets us speak words of forgiveness that are valid in heaven and on earth. And we may well find ourselves being Christ for someone in need.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter, Year C

It’s Too Good!

Readings: Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26; Luke 24:1-12

The women got up early and headed for the tomb.  They went despite their fear and apprehension at all that had taken place over the last three days.  They went filled with disappointment at what might have been.  They went filled with grief at the death of the one they had come to love and trust.  But while others had run away in fear, they were drawn to the tomb.  They had some unfinished business.  Because of the approach of the Sabbath, Jesus’ body had not been properly prepared for burial.  They went bringing the spices that they had prepared for that purpose. 
They knew what to expect.  They had stood at the foot of the cross when the others had fled.  They had watched as the life ebbed out of him.  When you watch someone die, the reality of death stays with you.  They had received his body when the soldiers took him down from the cross.  They had lovingly laid him in the tomb and watched, dumbfounded as a huge stone was rolled into place.  And yet, they could not help but feel that this dead man was more alive than any of them. 
And our God is a God of surprises! When the women arrived at the tomb the stone was rolled away.  When they entered the tomb, they did not find Jesus’ body.  The tomb was empty. 
“Why look for the living among the dead?” they were asked.  Why, indeed! He is not in the tomb.  He is risen!

And they believed it. They remembered what Jesus had told them. They believed it enough to proclaim it. They went and told the others, “Christ is risen!” And we still echo those words.  In the 1920’s Nikolai Bukharin was sent from Moscow to Kiev to address an anti-God rally.  For an hour he ridiculed the Christian faith until it seemed that there was nothing left to believe.  Then he invited the people to ask questions.  An Orthodox priest rose and asked to speak.  He turned, faced the people, and gave the Easter greeting, “Christ is risen!”  What do you suppose happened?  All the people rose to their feet.  “He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” they replied, loud and clear. 

Belief in the resurrection is the greatest sign that it happened. The women at the tomb saw and believed. It cannot have been easy for them. Faith in the resurrection was risky business for the early Christians. People gossiped about and plotted against those who believed that Jesus rose from the dead. The idea was so absurd and laughable. Christians were ridiculed and shunned, even persecuted for their beliefs. But that did not stop the faithful from spreading the message that Christ indeed was risen from the dead.

It has not stopped in over two thousand years. When asked ‘What do you believe?’ Christians still respond, “Christ is risen!” Today though we live in a world that is often indifferent to faith it is still possible to proclaim, “Christ is risen!” and have millions of people respond, “He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

What you say yourself in reply to the question is a choice you must make. And you can argue with me and say that you cannot believe because there is not enough evidence, but we believe because we take it on very good authority.

One of my favourite writers, C. S Lewis writes the following about believing. “Believing things ‘on authority’ only means believing them because you have been told them by someone you think trustworthy. Ninety-nine percent of the things you believe are believed on authority. I believe there is such a place as New York. I could not prove by abstract reasoning that there is such a place. I believe it because reliable people have told me so. The ordinary person believes in the solar system, atoms, and the circulation of the blood on authority – because the scientists say so. Every historical statement is believed on authority. None of us has seen the Norman Conquest or the defeat of the Spanish Armada. But we believe them simply because people who did see them have left writings that tell us about them; in fact, on authority. A person who balked at authority in other things, as some people do in religion, would have to be content to know nothing all his life.”

And if it seems too good to be true, look for the signs of resurrection around you. Like the women on that first Easter morning, we frequently find ourselves heading into the tomb, to places and circumstances where we expect only death.  It is so difficult to believe in the resurrection when all around us we are experiencing death. There are the environmental issues that the world faces. Is our planet facing extinction? Many people seem to think we cannot possibly do anything about Global warming.  We must simply learn to cope with environmental changes.  We need to prepare ourselves better for the natural disasters which are inevitable. 
Do not assume death in any situation.  Expect the possibility that God has been here before you.  Even a small rolling away of stones indicates resurrection.  People have become more aware of their need for stewardship, of their need to conserve God’s amazing creation.  The grass roots take on the responsibilities that governments opt out of. 
Are there signs of Resurrection in our community of faith?  There certainly are! We have a vision for this parish. We have dedicated leadership that works hard on behalf of this congregation. So many people participate in the life of our parish. We have a strong sense of community. We are meeting our financial obligations. We are a diverse community of faith. That brings so many dimensions to our life together.

Are there signs of Resurrection in people’s lives? Many in this congregation are experiencing difficulties in life. There are those who struggle with employment issues. Relationships can falter. We can experience economic hardships. Once again, do not assume death.  Maybe God is taking you in some other direction in your life.  Look at what God is doing in your life.  Look at where God is leading you. 
And at the heart of the resurrection is the one who participated in it, who died for it, and who in a way we will never understand and must accept in faith, moved through death to us to build the kingdom of God in our own lives and in our society and time.

And if the message of Easter is too overwhelming to to believe, consider this little story.

A young boy was an avid fan of both Captain Kangaroo and Mister Rogers. He watched both of their television shows. Then one day it was announced that Mister Rogers would be making a guest appearance on Captain Kangaroo. The little boy was ecstatic. He could hardly wait. He kept asking, “Is it today that Mister Rogers will be on Captain Kangaroo?” Finally the day arrived. The family all gathered around the television. The boy watched for a time and the surprisingly got up and wandered from the room.

His father was puzzled. He followed him and asked, “What is it? Is anything wrong?”

“It’s too good,” the boy replied. “It’s just too good!”

Jesus is not in the tomb! He is risen from the dead. That is the Easter message.  And it’s too good!

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Great Vigil of Easter, Year C

Resurrection Images

Readings: Romans 6:3-11; Luke 24:1-12

The Easter Vigil celebration is not really the proclamation of Jesus' resurrection. Rather it prepares us to experience the empty tomb. Resurrection remains a mystery at the heart of our lives. It is such a mystery that we find it difficult to express it in words. So on this Easter Eve we gather to experience the inexpressible. We do so by drawing on a wealth of images that take us back to our sacred roots.

Images abound in this service. We ring bells to prepare our hearts for resuming the joyous shouts of “Alleluia!”. We have held back that exuberant proclamation of praise during these past forty days. Now we shout it out, all the while ringing our bells proclaiming the good news of the Resurrection. The water of baptism, incense lifting our prayers to God, the Paschal candle, darkness, light.

Perhaps the most obvious image on this night is fire. One of the earliest expressions of mystery for humankind must surely have been that of sacred fire. Dating back more than three hundred thousand years, it was the beginning for us of becoming separated from the animal kingdom, of becoming truly human. It speaks to us from the very depth of our being.

That is no doubt why so many cultures have traditions related to sacred fire. It was sacred to the ancient Celts. The domestic hearth fire was never allowed to die except during the fire festival of Beltane, when it was ritually rekindled from the royal fire. Indeed, the hearth fire was the centre of Celtic family activity. Cooking, eating, storytelling all took place around the fire.

For thousands of years our indigenous people have held council fires. The Sacred Fires are kept from one generation to another, the wisdom passed on by Elders to children and grandchildren. The Elders, who speak the wisdom, are revered and cared for, as they are the very heart of the people.

So tonight we begin this celebration by lighting the new fire. From the fire we light the Paschal candle and then pass the flame from one person to another. We come into the darkness of the church bringing light with us. By its light we tell the story of our faith.

The storytelling too connects us to our sacred roots. We recount the story of creation. We tell how God led the people of Israel out of Egypt. We hear of the people of Israel wandering in the desert, of times of exile, of times of deliverance. We hear the Christian message. “Do you not know,” Paul asks us, “that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” We are reminded that we are new people, focused on new goals, compelled by new motives, committed to new objectives, reborn, free to love and accept ourselves and to dedicate our lives to loving others. It is a fitting time to renew our baptismal covenant, to remember the promises made at our baptism.

The story continues at the empty tomb. The women go to the tomb to see how Jesus' body is laid. They prepare the spices and ointments for his burial. What turmoil is going on within them? So much has happened since they came from Galilee with Jesus. They remember the excitement of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Could it be such a short time ago? How exciting it had been to be in that throng, jostling, joyfully waving palm branches, cheering Jesus on. They had not in any way guessed what the outcome might be. For just as suddenly as the crowd had appeared to wave him on, so they turned against him. The days that followed would always remain a blur. Now he was dead, brutally murdered. His followers felt the terrible emptiness that invariably follows the death of a loved one. The hope they had once felt, was gone.

After the Sabbath, they made their way back to the tomb with the spices they had prepared. But when they arrived at the tomb, to their surprise the stone was rolled away from the entrance. As they entered the tomb, they realized that the body was missing. They no longer had a sense of purpose. As they stood there perplexed, wondering what to do next, they were asked an important question. “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

And there in the emptiness of the tomb, they encountered the risen Lord. There was no need to see him. They remembered. They remembered what Jesus had told them; that he would be crucified, and on the third day he would rise again. In remembering, they experienced the joy of the resurrection. In that encounter, their fears and perplexity were gone. They left immediately to tell the eleven of their experience. They became messengers for the risen Lord.

The empty tomb is an image for us at this vigil. It is a symbol to each of us that Christ's resurrection is much more than mere survival. In the resurrection, death has been vanquished. Our destiny is opened up beyond death and the grave. We are able to proclaim: "He is risen! Alleluia!" The Jesus who lived and walked and taught on earth is not in the tomb. He is not to be sought in the far distant past. His saving work is a present reality in the community of believers.

God’s Spirit moves us to faith in the resurrection. We like the holy women at the tomb, discover that Christ is alive in us, through us, and forever. We are able to proclaim: "The Lord is risen! Alleluia! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!"

The Second Sunday after Epiphany, Year A

Come and See Readings: Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42 Invitations come in many shapes and sizes. They ...