Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 19, 2014

Second Sunday after the Epiphany 

What does it look like to work for the Lord? In today's passages we see some examples.

Isaiah was chosen and called by God before he was even born, while he was in his mother's womb. Yet even he has feelings of inadequacy. He says in verse 4,
“But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.”
But he continues to trust God.
The Psalmist says there is great joy for those who trust in the Lord.
In Corinthians, Paul, who also was chosen and called by God says that everyone who calls on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ is made holy by Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:7-9 says, "Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
In John, we see John the Baptist recognizing that Jesus is the Messiah who will baptize with the Holy Spirit when he (John) sees the Holy Spirit descend as a dove and rest on Jesus. Because of John's testimony about Jesus, some of his (John's) disciples immediately follow Jesus.

What does it mean to trust God? What has Christ equipped us with as we wait for his return? Why do you suppose John's disciples so quickly followed Jesus? 
We know that Isaiah had been called by God in the womb, and that Paul encountered Jesus as an adult. John the Baptist was Jesus's relative (and a similar age as Jesus), but it appears that he did not fully realize who Jesus was until this passage. Each has their own story of their first encounter with the Lord. With whom can you relate the most? Why is each story important?

Steadfast God,
you have enriched and enlightened us
by the revelation of your eternal Christ.
Comfort us in our mortality
and strengthen us
to walk the path of your desire,
so that by word and deed we may manifest
the gracious news of your faithfulness and love. Amen.

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