Epiphany Sermons 2018

January 7        Epiphany Sunday, Communion              Theme: The Gifts of the Magi

Scriptures:  Psalm 72:1-7  Eph 3:1-12      Matt 2:1-12     The visit of the Magi from the East to the Christ Child

Thoughts: On the 12th day after Christmas the world celebrates the Magi’s visit to the Christ Child.  The world comes to worship the Jewish child/king who is the Savior of the world.  They come to worship and give gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  It is also the first Sunday of the new year.  This is the traditional time for Christians in the Wesleyan tradition to offer themselves to Christ.

 

January 14      2nd Sunday after the Epiphany, Human Relations Day (offering)

Scriptures:  Genesis 1:1-5  Psalm 29    Mark 1:1-11        Theme: The Foundation

Thoughts: With few exceptions, I’ll be preaching through the Gospel of Mark for the whole of 2018. It is a fundamental thing for all Christians to know who Jesus is, and the Gospel of Mark is the quickest, easiest Gospel to grasp.  We begin with God speaking creation into existence and then quickly to Jesus proclaiming the Good News that this God wants to be in an intimate, eternal relationship with that creation. Jesus is sent and baptized/commissioned to be the bridge for that relationship.  John the Baptizer is the first to recognize the Christ.  Will you recognize him?

 

January 21      3rd Sunday after the Epiphany                Theme: The Call and the Calling

Scriptures:  Jonah 3:1-5, 10 Psalm 62:5-12 Mark 1:12-20

Thoughts: The call to discipleship at first went to a few.  The proclamation went out to all.  Jesus was seeking those who would respond to the Good News of God’s Kingdom and follow him.  Following Christ is the definition of Discipleship.  It is the mission of this Church and the UM Church to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.  Are you a Disciple, a seeker, a part of the curious crowd, or just here out of habit?  We are the Body of Christ and prepared to proclaim the Good News and make disciples.

 

 

January 28      4th Sunday after the Epiphany     Theme: Authority in Teaching and Spirit

Scriptures:   Deut 18:15-20 Psalm 111  Mark 1:21-28

Thoughts: Jesus begins to exert his authority in teaching. This may have been Marks equivalent of the Sermon on the Mount.  The people are amazed.  When he begins to heal a man with an evil spirit the spirit identifies him as the Holy One of God.  The authority of Jesus is important for us today.  Does Jesus have authority as the Lord of our lives?  Does His word still astound us?  Is he still able to drive the evil out of our lives?

Feb. 4              5th Sunday after Epiphany; Communion     Theme:   Heal and Proclaim – What Jesus Came to Do

Scriptures:  Isaiah 40: 21-31   I Cor. 9:16-23        Mark 1:29-39

Thoughts:       Healing the sick, confronting evil and driving it out, and proclaiming the Good News are the things Jesus came to do.  Those are His words not mine.  We will see throughout the Gospel of Mark Jesus doing exactly this as well as handing these ministries off to his Disciples.  As the modern-day disciples of Jesus, He is still handing that ministry off to us and equipping us to follow through.  Healing the broken and sin-sick of the world and proclaiming the Good News are two of the major ministry areas of this Church.  Connecting and Caring Ministries are a major part of our Mission in this world.  Our work is the work of Jesus in our time.  We are to heal the broken, confront evil and translate the Good News and proclaim it in the language of today.  Today’s message will encourage the Church to follow Jesus in his ministry in the here and now.

 

Feb 11             Transfiguration Sunday        Theme:            A Glimpse of Glory

Scriptures: Psalm 50:1-6  Romans 8:18-25   Mark 9:2-9

Thoughts:       We skip to the 9th chapter of Mark because the last Sunday of Epiphany is celebrated as the Transfiguration of the Lord.  What is the transfiguration about?  Why here in the Gospel?  Immediately after this story Jesus begins the journey to Jerusalem and the crucifixion.  The disciples have been with him for many months now.  Jesus told them he is headed to Jerusalem to his death.  Jesus wants to give them a glimpse of Glory before they see him crucified.  He wants them to see the end of the story in the middle of the story so that they will be encouraged by what they do not (at this time) understand.  We also get glimpses of Glory.  In the rousing chorus of our favorite hymn, in the rising or setting sun, touched by the Spirit in the quiet of prayer.  These glimpses of Glory give us encouragement for the tasks of life as followers of Jesus.  As Paul said in Romans 8, “I consider the sufferings of this time are not worth comparing with the glory that is about to be revealed to us.