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3rd Sunday after Epiphany


Texts & Discussions:

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21



Prayer for the Mind of Christ

God of compassion, grant us humility to seek what we need to bring us to fullness of life; to recognize in the stranger your spirit at work. Call us again to compassionate helping in the world you have created. We pray especially for small denominations inside and outside of ecumenical structures; for racial and cultural minorities; for individuals who feel they are not heard and tended to.  Enable us to follow the example of Jesus, to reach out without bias to those who are needy and searching.  Give us the mind of Christ, we pray. Amen.



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Children's Messages


Sermon Excerpt:

a sermon based on Luke 4:14-21
by Rev. Thomas Hall

In one memorable painting by Norman Rockwell entitled, "Homecoming," a neighborhood welcomes a young man back home. But we immediately know that this is no ordinary homecoming. The scene that greets our eyes tells us much about the young man. He stands in military dress almost at attention in front of what looks like low rent housing. Narrow porches are bunched together one after the other; packed dirt forms the frontage of where grass should have grown. A makeshift clothesline dangles in front of the family apartment with wooden pins tacking freshly washed clothes. Electric wires crisscross haphazardly in front of the building. The young soldier has returned home. It is an impoverished, dilapidated place.

Yet, that is not what greets the young man. For a menagerie of neighborhood folks have gathered to welcome him. A huge aproned woman stretches her arms out, her face beaming; a man and several children stand in the doorway behind her waiting their turn at the young soldier. Neighborhood kids watch the young man from their second story window and another kid hunches midway up an elm tree to get a view. A dog is running from the porch toward the young returnee. Even the landlord atop the stoop stops his repairs to watch the soldier. Off to the left and scrunched up against the corner is a woman about the young man’s age. She wears bobby socks and jumper, her hair well-groomed. She stands there in the shadows tall and shy, peering around the corner at him. The neighborhood has come to welcome one of their own home....

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