Readings and Reflections for Sunday 27 January 2019: Epiphany

RCL Eucharistic Readings for 27 January 2019

Part 1of 2

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10:  Psalm 19: 1Corinthians 12:12-31a: Luke 4:14-21

1st Corinthians

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” (1st Cor. 12:12)

Paul demonstrates that our Church is multifaceted. While we are made up of diverse  peoples, Jews, Greeks, slaves, free, blacks, whites, males, females, old, young, gays, straights, rich and poor; all participating in Christ in non-tribal ways.  People of different cultures and languages are coming together within the Christian Church and bringing their unique perspectives with them.  Any move that promotes sameness among its members fosters the antithesis of the principles of Christianity. Be us by being different.

In addition to the wide invitation to all walks of humanity, we are also called to many functions within the Church. The shortest list of needs is the formally ordained, the deaconate, the priesthood and bishops. If we only had these three we wouldn’t have a church.  We need people who do the heavy lifting of Altar Guild, Choir, Music, Ushering, Cleaning, Stewardship, Money Handlers, Mission and Outreach, Cooks, Office Management, Building Repairers, Folks who can just move stuff, and the list goes on.  The needs of the Church are perhaps more divers than the limited channels of human diversity that feed into the Church.

With Jesus’ movement through Paul to have him include other cultures, the Christian Church is perhaps the first multi-ethnic organization to come together for the benefit of the whole community.  This is who we are and who we are called to be by God in Christ Jesus. We are called to be a collection of different people who come together to employ the various gifts given to us by God for the good of all people.  Let’s get with somebody different and do something good.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people.

Part 2 of 2

Luke

 “When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom.”  (Luke 4:16)

And I guess we should say “back” to Nazareth, given that he was raised there.  I like to catch the little seemingly unimportant phrases like “as was his custom.”  That’s a big deal!  It’s a custom that Jesus modeled that too many professing Christians (followers of Jesus) fail to follow.

I love telling the story of when I was in Desert Shield/Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and went to our little church service every Sunday in the sand.  Some of my junior Marines asked me, “Gunny, why do you go to church?” Of which I answered, “Because it’s Sunday.”  That’s it – straight forward, simple.  Even now I don’t give long theological pontifications about The Resurrection and Church History.  I understand that when I accept Jesus and Sunday comes, I go to church as was Jesus’ custom.  Let’s follow Jesus to Church.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people.

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