February 27, 2022 – Transfiguration of Our Lord worship service

Sometimes transformation happens before our very eyes without us even noticing it. God’s glory was on full display for the disciples that day on the mountaintop, and as people of faith, we profess God’s transforming power is still at work among us today. These are the pivotal moments that change our perspective, invite us to embark on a new adventure of discipleship, and expand our capacity for love of God and neighbor. These are the moments when Christ is revealed to us. God is here. Christ is among us.

February 20, 2022 – 7th Sunday after Epiphany worship service

In today’s gospel, Jesus’ words today are challenging. But more that a list of dos and don’ts, this is an invitation to enter a countercultural way of living: a lifestyle that meets antagonism with mercy, scarcity with generosity, and selfishness with abundant love. It is not a call to passivity or silence, to complicity in injustice, or to acceptance of the way things are in order to avoid conflict. Instead, it is a call to let God’s merciful justice and compassionate grace define our stories, our relationships, and our very existence so that we might be agents of change. It it a call to experience the freedom that only Christ can give. It is a call to join God as co-creators of a new kingdom where Christ reigns, all in all.

February 13, 2022 – 6th Sunday after Epiphany worship service

In today’s gospel, Jesus meets the crowds on the plane. On the plane, it can feel like everything has been laid bare; nothing can remain hidden for long. And true to the setting, much is exposed in this story. The rich and the poor, the joyful and the suffering, the hungry and the full are placed side by side. There is no hiding the inequality and injustice of the world. Jesus’ stark words reach across the page and the years to call us, the church, to examine our hearts, our relationships, and even our society. A level plain invites us to look our neighbors in the eyes, to hear their stories, to see their humanity. The level plane is a place of transformation and healing. This is a place to meet Jesus.

February 6, 2022 – 5th Sunday after Epiphany worship service

In today’s gospel, the Word of God has the power to transform even the most impossible circumstances into new life. Jesus steps into the lives of these fishermen meeting them right where they are. With a simple request to once again cast out their nets, Jesus reveals to them the abundant power of God. This kind of power doesn’t wait for these fisher- men to feel holy or capable. It only requires a drop of faith and a single act of obedience, and suddenly there are enough fish not just for them but for the entire community. This encounter sets off a ripple effect: these new disciples begin to follow Jesus, bringing in more people and eventually benign witness to his life, death and resurrection. So must we.

January 30, 2022 – 4th Sunday after Epiphany worship service

In today’s gospel, Jesus has returned to his hometown, a community eager to welcome him back into their midst. Perhaps they assumed Jesus would meet their familiar welcome with some special favor. But instead, Jesus shakes things up by pointing to God’s presence in the lives of outsiders. This is not exactly the message the hometown folks were expecting to hear! This reminds us that God shows up in the lives of those we least expect. Thereby nudging us to expand our horizons to notice the Holy at work in other communities, too. May God’s Spirit work to open our hearts to notice Christ in the places we least expect him to be.

January 23, 2022 – 3rd Sunday after Epiphany worship service

We begin with recognizing that Nehemiah provides a review of why we do the things we do in our weekly service. Why do we stand for the reading of the Gospel? Why is there a reflection, a sermon shared? In the Gospel reading, Jesus participates in this ancient pattern. However, Jesus will not fulfill the expectations of the people. Instead, with his coming into the world, Jesus brings with him the salvation that will proclaim liberty to all of who are captive to something, whether we deserve that liberty in the eyes of society or not. Jesus is sending a signal that his coming into the world is an invitation to look at everything we think we know from a different perspective. He invites us to follow God’s will. What is God calling us to do in faith with great love?

January 16, 2022 – 2nd Sunday after Epiphany worship service

For 2000 years, Christians have been marveling at Jesus’ miracle of changing water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. Water, both as a symbol and as a physical reality, flows through all of the Bible. In the Gospel of John, water is a potent symbol of God’s power. As Jesus quietly demonstrates his power over life itself at Cana, we see that in God, life is unlimitedly abundant. After Jesus’ intervention there was no lack of wine; the wedding party continued with joy. “Do whatever He tells you,” is Mary’s direction to the servants. Might we also do what he tells us? In so doing, we will experience the miracle of transformation in our lives.

January 9, 2022 – The Baptism of Our Lord worship service

Many of us were baptized as infants, so our only “memories” of that day consist of photos and stories told to us by those who love us. Regardless of when we were baptized, we are to live each day in the joy and gratitude of the newly baptized. In baptism we are claimed, forever promised inclusion and welcome as a child of God. To emphasize the eternal strength of this claim, God makes the same claim for the Son, Jesus: ‘You are mine forever, and I am proud of you.’ – What more do we need to hear? May we know assuredly that we are loved.

January 2022 News

“Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we…have come to pay him homage.” Matthew 2:2

Today, January 6th, is Epiphany. Epiphany comes from a Greek word meaning “appearance.” This day is called Epiphany because we celebrate that God was revealed in Jesus to the world – not only to the Jewish nation but to all the nations of the world. We celebrate today that God reached out to the magi in lands far east of Jerusalem. From the beginning Jesus was God’s revelation and God’s gift for the world. In his ministry Jesus reached out to Gentiles multiple times, including a Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:21-28) and a Samaritan woman (John 4:4-26). But in this reading and on this day we are told that even as a child Christ Jesus was revealed to peoples from all nations as God’s promise for the world. Epiphany reminds us that we who have beheld God’s glory in Christ are sent to share Christ with the world (Matthew 28:19-20). Shared by The Word In Season devotional reading Matthew 2:1-12.

The current Grace Messenger can be found here: January 2022 Messenger

Click the link to see the Grace January 2022 Calendar: January 2022 Calendar