2023 Sun Jan 22

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.

Sunday Links, Jan. 22, 2023 Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Altar, Jan. 15

Jan. 22, 11:00am – Holy Eucharist

  • Third Sunday after the Epiphany YouTube link Jan. 22, 2023

  • Lectionary for Jan. 22, 2023,
    Third Sunday after the Epiphany
  • Bulletin for Jan. 22, 2023, Third Sunday after the Epiphany,
    Bulletin
  • Morning Meditation , Jan 23, 6:30am Zoom link Meeting ID: 879 8071 6417 Passcode: 790929
  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., Jan. 25, 10am-12pm.
  • Tues, Feb. 7th, Bingo Night 6-7:30PM at Port Royal Fire Department St Peter’s is serving as a Partner in Education with the Caroline County Public Schools. We will be providing snacks for the Caroline County Bingo Night, Tuesday, February 7th, 6-7:30PM at the Port Royal Fire Department. If you would like to help, please bring granola bars, individually wrapped bags of trail mix, or small bottles of water and place them in the back pew.
  • January, 2023
    Newsletter
  • All articles for Jan 22, 2023

  • Lectionary, Jan. 22, 2023 – Epiphany 3, Year A

    I.Theme –   Call to service with a call for unity

     

    The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew" – Duccio de Buoninsegna (1308-1311)

    The lectionary readings are here  or individually: 

    1. Isaiah 9:1-4- Isaiah

    2.  Psalm- Psalm 27:1, 5-13 Page 617

    3.  Epistle – 1 Corinthians 1:10-18

    4.  Gospel – Matthew 4:12-23 

    Isaiah provides the foretelling of Christ even at a time of defect.

    The Gospel answers the question of the character of this ministry and what got it started. 

    John the Baptist’s  death was the spark that caused the ministry to begin. It was necessary to emphasize in this beginning that Jesus’ ministry is aligned with God’s purpose as it is revealed in the Scriptures.   

    When the news comes to him about John’s arrest, he makes a different 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." 

    Unlike the Gospel of John, Matthew does not identify Jesus as the light of the world. Nonetheless, the prophecy from Isaiah makes clear that 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.

    Jesus calls people as they are, from where they are, being who they are.  At the same time, however, as the gospel narrative proceeds, readers learn that it is the followers of Jesus who bear his light in the world by their own (collective) way of life. In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells the people, "You (plural) are the light of the world,. . . Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16). Jesus’ proclamation that the realm (kingdom) of heaven has come near is the first flicker of a light that will grow and burn among his followers until they are able to “proclaim [it] from the housetops” (Matthew 10:27).

    Those first disciples, for their part, might have preferred to keep their jobs, to remain with their families, to stay with the life that they knew. When they see Jesus and hear his words to them, they make a different choice, however; they take a risk, step out in faith, leave behind that which is comfortable and secure. They choose to follow Jesus. 

    Paul 25 years after Christ wants the message of Christ to come through despite division in Corinth. Christ name was synonomous with the Church. There was some fragmentation. The Corinthians were putting certain leaders into a place that really belonged only to God. In that sense they were becoming ‘cult figures’. Jesus role needs to be restored. 

    Read entire commentary

    Restorative

    “What do you do with your grief and frustration about the world’s injustices?  If we aren’t intentional about turning them into redemptive and restorative actions they will shrink and consume us.  Or, they will make us chronically hopeless.  Jesus’s cousin was arrested and then killed.  It was a state and religious community-sanctioned hit job.  After a short time away, we hear that Jesus’ response to this tragedy was to finish John’s work- to preach and heal.  To bring the God conversation to places and people established religion had forsaken.  Jesus redeems John and the good he was doing before his arrest by turning lament into life.  Injustice will be with us as long as there is humanity, the question is will we let it have the last word? ” – Bishop Rob Wright, Atlanta

    From the Gospel reading – Matthew 4:12-23

    Conversion of St. Paul

    On January 25 we remember how Saul (or Paul) of Tarsus, formerly a persecutor of the early Christian Church, was led by God’s grace to become one of its chief spokesmen. Here are two art works that depict the event :

    “The Conversion on the Way to Damascus; ” (1601)   “ The Conversion of St. Paul ” Nicolas-Bernard Lepicie, 1767

     "and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him. And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Who said: Who art thou, Lord? And he: I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. " Acts 9: 3-5

    Read more about the conversion

    Conversion of St. Paul, Jan 25

    Conversion of Paul, January 25

    On January 25 we remember how Saul (or Paul) of Tarsus, formerly a persecutor of the early Christian Church, was led by God’s grace to become one of its chief spokesmen. Here are two art works that depict the event :

    “The Conversion on the Way to Damascus; ” (1601)   “ The Conversion of St. Paul ” Nicolas-Bernard Lepicie, 1767

     "and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him. And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Who said: Who art thou, Lord? And he: I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. " Acts 9: 3-5

    Italian painter Caravaggio painted the one on the left in 1601 for the Cerasi Chapel of the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, in Rome. The painting depicts the moment recounted in Chapter 9 of Acts of the Apostles when Saul, soon to be the apostle Paul, fell on the road to Damascus.

    Caravaggio is close to the Bible. The horse is there and, to hold him, a groom, but the drama is internalized within the mind of Saul. There is no heavenly apparition. He lies on the ground stunned, his eyes closed as if dazzled by the light.

    Caravaggio’s style featured a dark background with usually one point of breaking light. Paul is flung off of his horse and is seen on his back on the ground. Although Paul reflects the most light out of all the characters, the attention is given to him in a strange way. Because Paul is on the ground, he is much smaller than the horse, which is also at the center of the painting but he is pictured closer to the viewer.

    The second painting constrast with Caravaggio in the use of color and light. This one has some of the most vibrant colors.  Heaven’s light is shown coming dynamically from left to right.  The painting is like the key frame in a movie on the conversion.  At the time Lepicie was a professor at the  Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris.

    From Christian Courier

    "Exactly when Paul began his bloody mission of savagery against the church of Christ is unknown with any degree of precision. The fear of him was significant, and those beyond the borders of Palestine trembled at the mention of the name of this “wolf” who stalked “the fold of the Lamb” (Acts 9:13,26; cf. 26:11).

    "Saul of Tarsus first appears in the biblical record as a witness to the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr to the cause of Christ—even “consenting” to his death (Acts 7:58; 9:1). Henceforth his persecution of Christians, as portrayed in the book of Acts via his own testimony, was relentless—though he thought sincerely he was doing Jehovah’s will (23:1; 26:9). Pursuing the saints even unto foreign cities (26:11), he beat, imprisoned, and had them put to death (22:19). Later he would write that “beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and made havoc of it” (Galatians 1:13). The horrible memories of these vicious attacks would linger with the sensitive apostle for the balance of his earthly days (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:9; Ephesians 3:8; 1 Timothy 1:15).

    "That frenzied ambition to exterminate Christianity from the face of the earth was to radically change, however. And the record of how that occurred is as amazing as it is inspiring.

    The Conversion

    "According to Luke’s historical record (Acts 9:1ff), Saul, armed with arrest warrants for those of the Christian Way, departed from Jerusalem en route to ancient Damascus, some 140 miles to the north. As he drew near that city, a light brighter than the noonday sun suddenly engulfed him. A voice inquired: “Saul, Saul, why do you continue to persecute me?” The double use of his name suggests a reproof (cf. Matthew 23:37; Luke 10:41; 22:31). Saul responded: “Who are you, Lord?” The title “Lord” was employed at this point as a mere term of respect, for he knew not who had addressed him.

    "The voice was identified as Jesus of Nazareth! The stunned persecutor was instructed to enter Damascus where he would be informed as to what he “must do.” Blinded as a consequence of this miraculous vision in which Christ actually appeared to him (9:17; 1 Corinthians 15:8), Saul was led into the city.

    "For three agonizing days he fasted and prayed. Finally, Ananias, a messenger selected by God, arrived. He restored Saul’s sight and commanded him to “arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16). After certain days passed, the former persecutor began to proclaim among his fellow Jews that Jesus “is the Son of God” (see Acts 9:19-22)."

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