Today in the Spirit: Epiphany World Mission Sunday A

Posted on February 6, 2023
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The Book of Common Prayer 2019 has designated the second to last Sunday of Epiphany every year to be World Mission Sunday. This accomplishes two important things: 1) it causes us who spend most our time and energy following Jesus in one locality among a small circle of people to lift our eyes over the…

Today in the Spirit: Epiphany 5A

Posted on January 30, 2023
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At the end of the Beatitudes we heard last Sunday, Jesus makes a dramatic shift from the third person Blessed are those to the second person Blessed are you, and there he stays throughout the remainder of the Sermon on the Mount. In Epiphany 5A we hear in the assigned Gospel reading Matthew 5:13-20 You…

Today in the Spirit: Epiphany 4A

Posted on January 23, 2023
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As noted before, through Year A of the Sunday lectionary we work our way through selections of the Gospel of Matthew. Beginning in Epiphany 4A, the church will focus our attention on the Scripture’s illumination of Jesus as Son of God in the Sermon on the Mount, the first and largest of five teaching discourses…

Today in the Spirit: Epiphany 3A

Posted on January 15, 2023
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On Epiphany 3, from the church’s selection of Sunday Gospel readings we are meant to see how the glory of Jesus Christ was revealed in the earliest events of his ministry in Galilee (northern Palestine). This year out of Matthew there is a dual focus on Jesus’ preaching in Capernaum and the calling of his…

Today in the Spirit: Epiphany 2A

Posted on January 9, 2023
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At Epiphany 2, we move into the first of two “ordinary” periods (as opposed to extraordinary periods of feasting or penitence) in the church year. The shorter ordinary period begins after Epiphany Day; the longer one after the Day of Pentecost. In the Sunday lectionary ordinary time is marked by a more systematic (though not…

Today in the Spirit: Epiphany & Epiphany 1A

Posted on January 3, 2023
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Prepositions are important in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). One change in the BCP 2019 that can easily go unnoticed is the designation “Sundays of Epiphany” in the new book versus “Sundays after Epiphany” in the 1979 (and 1928) books. The choice of wording in BCP 2019 conforms with a desire to return to…

10 Ways to Preach the Baptism of our Lord

Posted on January 1, 2023
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In 2016, I led a tour of 30 adults through the Holy Land, and one of our stops was the newly renovated site on the Jordan River, commemorating John the Baptist’s baptism of our Lord. I led our group in the renewal of vows, sprinkling and praying over 29 of the 30 pilgrims. Then, one…

Epiphany: A Bridge to the Season of Lent

Posted on February 23, 2017
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Next week, Christians worldwide will turn their hearts and minds—and foreheads—to Ash Wednesday. People have begun pondering and discussing what their Lenten practices will be this year. Worship pastors and musicians select hymns and worship songs to ensure we have plenty of ‘alleluias’ before that word is silenced for forty days. Your weekend grocery shopping…