Epiphany/Baptism of Our Lord B
January 7, 2018
We have a lot of threads to weave together this morning. We recognize the close of the season of Christmas …
… as we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, that “aha!” moment when Jesus was revealed as a King to the Wise Ones traveling from the East, …
… and the Baptism of our Lord, when Jesus submitted himself to John’s baptism in the River Jordan, …
… and it’s the first Sunday of the New Year, when Methodists traditionally renew their baptismal vows to shine Christ’s light into the world through prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.
To top it off, this is Communion Sunday!
It looks a little busy up here on the platform – there’s a lot going on. Notice that all of our worship, busy as it may seem at first, has one focus: turning our attention toward God.
As we enter this new year, I’m inviting you to abandon all those New Year’s resolutions that have anything to do with self improvement. You see, ultimately, those resolutions focus our attention on ourselves. They are, to put it quite bluntly, self-ish. And that is not what Jesus calls us toward as Christians. Jesus asks us to center our lives on God, and then offer God’s love to others.
So over the next few weeks, we will explore what it means to be self-less followers of Jesus Christ. We’ll see how serving, generosity, and sharing our stories of faith help us get re-oriented away from working to get our own needs met, toward something much more satisfying, much more rewarding: knowing Christ and becoming more Christ-like.