Will you be marking the Presentation of Jesus on Thursday – or on Sunday?
Or are you preparing to use the Revised Common Lectionary readings for Sunday?
Either way, themes of light are shining through.
A Light of Revelation
If you’re preaching on the Presentation of Jesus, will you be addressing the words of Simeon, who declared Jesus “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel,” and those of the prophet Anna, who spoke of Jesus “to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem”?
Will you talk about the law as it pertains to purification of the mother after the birth of a child, and the circumcision of Jesus?
Will you address the epistle to the Hebrews, where the author describes who Jesus came to “free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death?”
Vanderbilt’s RCL site: http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=325
The Text This Week: http://www.textweek.com/festivals/presentation.htm
Let Your Light Shine Before Others
I have a guest preacher this Sunday, but the readings for Epiphany 5 may lead to my second ever YouTube sermon this week. From Isaiah’s “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” to Jesus’ calling on his followers to be salt and light to the world in Matthew, this Sunday’s RCL readings speak to a time when those who are most vulnerable are experiencing increasing strain.
“Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins.”
These words reach through my instinct for self-preservation and move me to defend those who are more at risk than I am.
…day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
How these words ring too true for too many nations these days.
How can we help people keep in mind these words:
If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.
How will you help the faithful be not afraid of evil tidings, with firm hearts secure in the Lord, to not lose their saltiness, to not hide their light?
Vanderbilt’s RCL: http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=17
The Text This Week: http://www.textweek.com/yeara/epipha5.htm
Wherever you are heading this week, please share your leanings with us: a lot of us could use some inspiration this week.
If you’re struggling with your direction, please share that too: you help us to not feel alone, and often bring insights and questions we may not have thought of.
Blessings on your labor this week: may the words you speak, and the ways they are received by many hearts and minds, help people and churches continue to grow into what God has dreamed us to be.
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