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Showing posts from January, 2015

The Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, Year B

Speaking with Authority

Readings: Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 111; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28

During the season of Epiphany, we have been exploring the many ways and times that God calls us, not only on a personal level, but also as a Church, and as a nation. The readings this week continue the theme of call as they explore how God speaks to us through other people. They explore the whole concept of authority. How do we determine God’s truth? How do we determine who is speaking with integrity?

The question of authority was critical for the Hebrew people. Prophets and priests claimed to speak and act in accordance with God’s will, and yet conflicts and disputes arose. They grappled with how God speaks to us. Moses wanted the people to know that God did not speak through magic, but through discernment. They settled on three criteria. First of all, the prophet needed to be an Israelite. Secondly, he was called to speak as God commanded, and finally what was spoken had …

Third Sunday after Epiphany, Year B

God Don’t Sponsor No Flops

Readings: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 62:6-14; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

God calls us, not once, but again and again throughout our lives. God calls us to renew our baptismal covenant, to renew our life in Christ. Sometimes we are called to choose new priorities. Sometimes we are called to leave behind the things that have been keeping us from God, things that impede our discipleship. Sometimes we are called to make changes in our lives. Often a call comes to us when we are facing crises in our lives, for those are times when change is not only necessary, but even welcome. Whatever our call, it is a call to action. What is happening right now for us as individuals, as a church, as a nation? More importantly, how will we respond? Those are good questions for us to ponder during this season of Epiphany.

I was visiting my sister many years ago. I was sitting in the living room with my then teenaged niece. We were chatting, getting caught up. …

Second Sunday of Epiphany, Proper 2, Year B

Called to Be!

Readings: 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20); Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51

We Canadians, as most of the world, are addicted to our phones. Consumer studies show that almost eighty-five percent of Canadians have a Smartphone. We are used to calling others and to being called. In this day and age we feel uneasy if we go out the door without our cell phone. What if someone needs to get in touch with us? But when it comes to being called by God, we are less sure. We wish it were as easy as receiving a phone call. We question. What does it mean to be called? How does it happen? How can we discern God’s call? Are we all called by God? Our readings today explore the ways in which God reaches out to us and helps us to discern our calling.

Samuel received a call from God when he was just a child. He was three years old when his mother took him to live in the temple at Shiloh where he was to serve. Eli, the priest in the temple, was an old man. His…

The Baptism of the Lord, Year B

Epiphany, God Made Manifest

Readings: Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11

We have entered a new season of the Church year, the season of Epiphany. During the Sundays of the Epiphany we focus on how God is revealed to us. An epiphany is an appearance, a visible manifestation of God. The Epiphany immediately brings into mind the magi bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. The Wise men in their visit to Jesus were not the Epiphany. They were the beneficiaries of one. God was revealed to them through the child Jesus whom they visited.

We too need to expect Epiphanies in our lives, times when God is revealed in a personal way to each of us. Such times help us to come to know God better. They are times when God seems to reach out to us through time and space. Each Sunday in Epiphany focuses on the ways in which God reveals God’s self to people.

Today we read of how God is revealed to us through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the Old Testament reading, the…

The Feast of the Epiphany

A Lasting Resolution

Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12
All of the wrapping paper has been cleared away by now. Most of us have taken down the tree and packed the decorations away carefully in their boxes. We have made, and possibly even broken, our New Years resolution. Christmas is but a fond and distant memory. We face now its aftermath - the cleaning up, the paying of the bills and the kind of lingering depression that somehow seems to accompany such endings.

But you'll notice that the church is still decorated. That is because Christmas, as a religious celebration is not over. Today is only the tenth day of Christmas - two to go. The song the "Twelve Days of Christmas" is not completely frivilous. "Twelfth Night" is not the title of a Shakespearean play for nothing.

You see, there remains for us to celebrate, one important aspect of Christmas. Today we are marking a feast which actually comes on Janua…