Meanings in today’s service…

A photo collage of today’s service – communion, the roses around the altar, Rev. Tom Hughes with those roses and the light, greeting of a family by both ministers. Lots of symbols for the service and the lectionary.

From Sun Jan 22, 3rd Epiphany focused on the call of disciples. John the Baptist’s death was the spark that caused Jesus’ ministry to begin. When the news comes to him about John’s arrest, he makes a difficult choice, by withdrawing to Galilee, where he calls his first disciples, preaches the Sermon on the Mount, begins his ministry of healing, and teaches what it means to be the Messiah who is “God with us.”

The Rev. Tom Hughes stressed that what was unique in the Gospel was that Jesus was coming to the disciples and not vice-versa as it was in the Old Testament. His understanding of the needs and potential of the disciples was significant. Here is his sermon.

The calling of the disciples considers the idea of starting over as a new beginning as God did at the time of the crossing of the Red Sea. Where John baptized is where the Hebrew people had originally come across. God is calling us to make new commitments for a community empowered by the Holy Spirit to live in the world inspired by Christ to live in a certain way and knowing that the reward for that is eternity with God.

Jesus’ return to Galilee will be the occasion for those who sit in darkness to see “a great light” (Matthew 4:16-17). No doubt Jesus’ ministry of teaching and healing is the basis for that light.

We too are being set apart for purposes in our time. We must be aware of those purposes and act accordingly in our ministries.

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