Third Sunday after the Epiphany

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Title Sermon Date Liturgical Scripture
Lent 4 March 26, 2017 Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year A Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41
Lent 3 March 19, 2017 Third Sunday in Lent, Year A Psalm 95, Romans 5:1-11, John 4:5-42
Lent 2 March 12, 2017 Second Sunday in Lent, Year A Genesis 12:1-4a, Psalm 121, John 3:1-17
Lent 1 March 5, 2017 First Sunday in Lent, Year A Matthew 4:1-11
Ash Wednesday March 1, 2017 Ash Wednesday, Year A Matthew 4:1-11
Last Sunday after the Epiphany February 26, 2017 Last Sunday after Epiphany, Year A Matthew 17:1-9
Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany February 19, 2017 Seventh Sunday after Epiphany, Year A Leviticus 19:1-2, I Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23; Matthew 5:38-48
Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany February 12, 2017 Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A Deuteronomy 30:15-20; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37
Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany February 5, 2017 Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, Year A Isaiah 58:1-12; Matthew 5:13-20
Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – Reflections on Annual Convention, Susan Tilt January 29, 2017 4th Sunday after the Epiphany Matthew 5:1-12
Third Sunday after the Epiphany January 22, 2017 Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A Psalm 27:1, 5-13, Matthew 4:12-23
Second Sunday after the Epiphany January 15, 2017 Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A Isaiah 49:1-7, Psalm 40:1-12, John 1:29-42
First Sunday after the Epiphany, Baptism of Jesus January 8, 2017 The Baptism of our Lord, Year A The Book of Common Prayer
Epiphany January 6, 2017 Epiphany 2017 Ephesians 3:1-12, Matthew 2:1-12
Christmas Day, Year A December 25, 2016 Christmas Day, 2016 Isaiah 52:7-10, Hebrews 1:1-4, Psalm 98, John 1:1-14


Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Sermon Date:January 22, 2017

Scripture: Psalm 27:1, 5-13, Matthew 4:12-23

Liturgy Calendar: Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A

“Calling Disciples” – He Qui

PDF version

Please take out the Lift Every Voice and Sing hymn book and turn to page 58. 

We’ve sung this hymn before, and we’re going to sing it again today, but let’s review first how it’s laid out in LEVAS. 

We’ll sing everything on page 58, and then turn the page and we sing everything on that page.  See those two dots that look like a colon at the end of the last line?  That is called a repeat sign, so we follow the instructions and go back and sing everything on page 58.

(Sing LEVAS 58)

David wrote the psalm as a sign of his confidence in God.

Although he has much to fear, he has no fear, because he knows that even though he is the King of Israel,

God is the One with the power, the One protecting David.

God is David’s light.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?”

“The Lord is the strength of my life.; of whom then shall I be afraid?”

Which brings us to today’s gospel lesson.

Jesus, hearing that his cousin John has been arrested, moves from Nazareth to Galilee.  John had been telling people that the kingdom of God is at hand.

And that’s what Jesus does too–he goes through Galilee saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!” just as John had been doing.   

As he walks by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus sees two brothers—Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, who are fishing, right in the middle of casting their nets, and he says to them,

“Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”

Simon Peter and Andrew immediately leave their nets and follow him. 

And then Jesus sees James and his brother John in a boat with their father Zebedee, and they are mending nets, and Jesus calls them too.

And James and John immediately leave their nets, and their boat and their father and they follow Jesus. 

These guys are leaving behind their jobs, their income, their families, and their prestige in their community.

Talk about what must have been a stressful transition!

Transitions, even good ones, are anxiety producing.  So these four guys should have been full of anxiety—but instead, they respond to Jesus without the hesitation that anxiety tends to bring.  They respond immediately with radical obedience—a sign of their trust and faith in Jesus.   

They responded to Jesus with radical obedience because when they see Jesus, they see light—just as King David saw the light so long ago. 

They see salvation.

Like King David, they have no fear and they follow, out into the great unknown—all they know at this point is that they want to be with Jesus badly enough to drop everything and go.

Simply being in the presence of Jesus must have been astoundingly wonderful and attractive. 

Through the trials and tribulations that came along, the disciples must have had the courage to keep going, even when they messed up, or got discouraged, because they could see that Jesus was light.

After his death and his resurrection, they must have had the courage to keep going and to spread his love all over the world, because they could still see that Jesus was light, and because Jesus blessed them with the peace and the power of the Holy Spirit to keep their eyes and hearts and their mouths open. 

And that was something to celebrate—

so they offered their lives up for God’s kingdom, with gladness, for the most part.  

All of us face transitions in this life, from being born to dying, and everything in between.  Any time things change, even when things change for the better, transitions happen, and they can be tough as we adjust to some new reality in our lives.  The physical aging of our bodies can bring many transitions as we struggle with having to figure out how to do things differently.

Any time we enter into something new and unknown, anxiety tends to take over. 

When this dark and suffocating  anxiety comes creeping or roaring into our lives,

the time has come to remember—

to remember the radical obedience of the disciples,  

to remember the joy of King David who saw that the Lord is light and salvation.

The time has come to see once more, for ourselves, that Jesus is light.

And people, we too have the peace and the power of the Holy Spirit living and moving in us.

it’s time to scrounge up our courage,

it’s time open our eyes to that light of Jesus,  

it’s time to reach deep within,

it’s time take a deep breath of the Holy Spirit.

It’s time to belt out some sounds of great gladness, sing and make music to the Lord–

So let’s sing it one more time—LEVAS 58—“The Lord is my light and my salvation!”


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