Sunday, January 06 2019
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen. (Psalm 72:18-19).
In my Christmas sermon this year, I preached about how God comes into this messy world in a position of vulnerability and powerlessness. God loves us so much that he came down to live with us, that we might know him and he might know us. God came down into this dark, messy world because he loves us. The God who takes on our flesh does not ignore the darkness but shines in the very midst of it. God transforms vulnerability into power when we are willing and open to God. This can come to us as an Epiphany when we see everything in the light of Christ instead of looking out from the darkness of humanity in its present condition. While one force makes us angry, selfish, envious, prideful, lustful, and greedy, God shines a new light that allows us to be humble, patient, self-giving, generous, and kind. Through the person of Jesus Christ, everything in the world looks different. Epiphany is when we reorient ourselves to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Our future looks very bright at St. John’s because we are willing to reorient our lives to the way God intended. The light of Christ is the hospitality we show to newcomers and strangers. From our ushers to our congregation, to our breakfast team, we offer everyone a friendly, hot meal after service. The light of Christ is the outreach that the ECW does in our community. Please support our ECW in every way you can in the coming year. The light of Christ is the passing of our faith to the next generation. Through our Sunday school, first communion classes, confirmation, and youth group, we share the light of Christ to our children and youth. The last way we shine the light of Christ is by bringing others to faith. Please invite your friends and neighbors to join us at St. John’s. We are growing because people come into our church and want to be a part of the Jesus Movement with us. Our priorities remain hospitality, outreach, children and youth ministry, and growth. I ask every member to think about how you might help us in these four areas of ministry in 2019.
As we approach our 275th anniversary at St. John’s in 2020, I would encourage every member to open your hearts to the love of God. Jesus will teach us through the Gospel of Luke this year to transform ourselves, our families, and our community to this love of God. The power of the Holy Spirit shines brightly in the darkness when we are open to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Luke tells us that the harvest is great, but the laborers are few. I ask you in this New Year to commit yourself to the Jesus Movement in our church. God is doing wondrous things at St. John’s and I believe that this can be another amazing year. May we worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness and praise God’s name forever.
In Christ’s love,