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4th Sunday after Epiphany (c)


Texts & Discussions:

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30



Prayer based on all Lessons:

We praise you, o Lord, for you alone are worthy to be praised. You rescued your people through hesitant prophets like Jeremiah; through your Son Jesus you manifested your willingness and power to save the whole human family. Deliver us from the things that possess our time and attention; free us and empower us so that we might heed your call to serve. Inspire us to love you and one another according to the true meaning of (agape) love.  God of Love and Grace, heal our communities and bring wholeness to our lives.  In Christ's name. Amen.



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Children's Messages

Sermon Excerpt:

Comfortable and Familiar?
Luke 4:21-30

Rev. Karen A. Goltz

   We have an interesting relationship with scripture, don’t we?  We turn to it gladly when we’re looking for comfort or inspiration.  We might point to it proudly when justifying our own behaviors, or accusingly when judging someone else’s.  But most of the time, we keep it at a distance.  It includes some nice stories, some harsh words, some clear expectations.  It includes some parts we return to again and again, and it includes some parts we carefully avoid.

            Last week I challenged you to approach the bible as a person dying of thirst might approach water, but the truth is that most of us approach it more like an all-you-can-eat buffet of exotic foods, going for the few things we think we know and like, cautiously sampling a few others, and utterly avoiding the rest.  It’s too overwhelming to try it all.  And it’s too dangerous.  You never know what you’re going to get.  Better to just stick with what you know, with what’s safe and familiar.

            But are you sure you know what you think you know?

            The people of Nazareth were in familiar territory.  It was Sabbath, and they were in the synagogue.  It wasn’t a festival day or a big holiday that might attract more occasional worshippers—it was just a regular Sabbath with all the regular people there.  Nothing unusual at all.  Everyone’s sitting in their usual places, doing their usual things.  And oh look!  There’s Mary’s boy Jesus, all grown up now and back visiting his home synagogue.  When the folks saw him they probably chatted a bit amongst themselves, comparing notes on what they’d heard he’d been up to since he’d left home...

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