Epiphany Sermon Series
Jan. 10 - Feb. 7, 2021
This Epiphany at St. John's, our Focus Readings in the Gospel of Luke will direct our path. Better yet, Jesus, in those readings, will show us His footsteps so we can follow them with our own footsteps. Epiphany has always been about God "waking us up" and "revealing" the ways of God to people of faith so that people like us could take on a new and deeper mission in life: to be God's ambassadors in the world, both in our individual lives and especially through our work as God's church.
Where we go with our lives and actions will be especially faithful if we see how Jesus carried Himself in His life. Then, our goal is to emulate Him and try to live His way.
We're calling our Epiphany season this year, "#ChurchGoals: Follow His Footsteps." Here are some snapshots of where each Sunday will lead us:
Jan. 10: "Inclusion"
The Focus Reading is Luke 3:1-22, Jesus' baptism. He follows God's calling to Him to be baptized. In baptism, He is included in the fullness of God's love and purposes. The same is true for us. All we need to do is respond in faith to God's grace-filled calling to come to baptism. If God includes us, no matter who we are, then following in Jesus' footsteps means a primary goal of our life is to be "inclusive" as people, as well.
Jan. 17: "Freedom"
In Luke 4:14-30, Jesus begins his adult ministry. He is rejected in His hometown by people who knew Him growing up. However, that rejection did not define Him. He knew His purpose and calling clearly, which was to carry out a liberation- and healing-filled ministry articulated in Isaiah. His calling freed Him to be resolute and hopeful. If we are "Christ-ians," as we are, we have the same calling as Christ. This frees us to live out our purposes of being agents of liberation and healing toward all people in the world.
Jan. 24: "Invitation"
What does it mean to have a goal of being an "invitational" person? Luke 5:1-11 is the "fishing for people" text. It's one of our favorites! Isn't it? While it always sounds good to our ears, the harder aspect is for people to invite others to a life of faith. We'll "filet this fish" on the 24th and wonder with each other how each of us can follow Jesus' footsteps in being "invitational" with the people in our lives, particularly as it results in people coming into the love and grace of Christ.
Jan. 31: "Renewal"
Jesus created a flurry of concern when He healed someone on the Sabbath. It was the God-commanded day of rest. But, fact was, someone needed to be renewed then and there. Jesus understood that need to be of primary importance and acted on it. Do you have a goal of having a "renewing way" with your life, at any and all times? If not, why not? If so, you are already following in Jesus' footsteps. We'll read Luke 6:1-16 and pray for our own deeper "renewing ways" because of it.
Feb. 7: "Healing"
You may say, How is Healing different from Renewal? In the case of Jesus raising the widow's son, we'll put healing into a deeper category of renewal. Where renewal gives a sense of needed encouragement and strength to go on, healing gives a brand new start. A resurrection, of sorts. Read Luke 7:1-17, and we'll see where Jesus' footsteps here can show the way for our own footsteps to follow.