Friday, January 14 2022
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
(I Cor. 12:4-11)
Epiphany is a season that manifests the divinity of Jesus. It starts with the recent birth of Christ in the coming of the Magi on the day of the Epiphany. Last Sunday, we looked at Jesus as a young boy in the temple. The Baptism of our Lord was observed on the Sunday after Epiphany. The gospels for the other Sundays of the Epiphany season describe the wedding at Cana, the reading of Isaiah in the temple by Jesus, and the opposition to Jesus in Nazareth. On February 2nd, we celebrate the Presentation of our Lord in the temple. The Last Sunday after the Epiphany is always devoted to the Transfiguration. Jesus' identity as the Son of God is dramatically revealed in the Transfiguration gospel, as well as the gospel of the Baptism of Christ. We are called to respond to Christ in faith through the showings of his divinity recorded in the gospels of the Epiphany season. The prophet Isaiah speaks of the coming of the Kingdom of God in today’s lesson. He says that you will no longer be forsaken and you will no longer be desolate. This helps bring us from despair to hope in troubled times. You will be blessed and loved by God. So God sent his only Son so that everyone would know that God rejoices over them and brings about righteousness and justice so that we all will know that we are loved and blessed by God.
The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).
I ask each member of our congregation to consider your own gifts and to share them with those in need in our community and at St. John’s. Please consider joining our Altar Guild or serving as a reader at St. John’s. You might also consider serving in the Thrift Shop. There are many opportunities such as a Lay Eucharistic Minister or helping out on Buildings and Grounds.
Most of all, we need you to be connected to one another. Joining a small group at St. John’s is healthy for your spiritual life. Praying with a group of folks and walking together in good times and bad is one of the greatest benefits of joining a church community. Morning prayer is at 9am every weekday. Sunday zoom is at 8am and 10am and each service has a coffee hour after the service. Spirituality Group meets every 2nd Thursday. Thrift shop meets on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 12-3. Racial Reconciliation and Social Justice meets on the last Thursday of this month. Bible Study meets Monday night at 6:30pm and Tuesday at 11:00am. St. Hilda’s Guild meets on Tuesdays at 12pm. EfM meets on Monday nights. We have mission teams to Navajoland in Utah, Puerto Rico, and Border Ministries in Arizona. We are traveling for a spiritual pilgrimage to Iona, Scotland next year. Please use your gifts through a small group, serve on a committee, or pray with us.
In Christ’s love,