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January 17th, 2021: Epiphany 2

A Congregational Letter to Morgan’s Point and Forks Road East United Churches

Good afternoon, to all of you. I hope everyone managed well, as we all hunkered down into the first week of a second provincial lockdown. Phoning you, and talking with many of you, this week, we seem to all be of similar minds. Although we could do with an end to this virus, we do agree that in order to keep all of us safe, and to take care of those who are most vulnerable, we are quite comfortable settling in for another month at home, and hopefully watching the numbers come down. It is important to remember that each of those numbers, whether it is another person infected, or someone passing, are people with hopes and dreams. Some have left loved ones behind, who will never see their beautiful smile, or experience their warm embrace, ever again. We need to keep all of these families in our prayers.

My sermon this week is based on John 1: 43-51, and is entitled “The Good that Comes from Nazareth”. In my sermon, I talk a great deal about assumptions. Sometimes our assumptions are about other people - how they will behave, what they will say, what we can expect from them, or what we assume they think, or believe. Other times we base our assumptions on particular situations – like a disagreement, or national unrest, or a teenager trying to grow up, and we declare it is hopeless. We are absolutely sure nothing good can come out of that situation.

Then, there are those times we look at ourselves, and think about a secret we have carried for years; or, the illness we face each day; or, the addiction we hide; or, the hurts we have caused others; or, the loneliness and lostness of grief, and we say it will never get any better. We say nothing good can come from this situation.

When we make assumptions like these, we are assuming that we know more than we really do. Yet, assumptions, actually, act as our limitations. They narrow our vision. We become like Nathanael, in our scripture reading today, who assumes that nothing good can come from Nazareth.

Could it be that we, like Nathanael, have a particular set of conditions, or prerequisites, that must be met before God will appear and act? Conditions and prerequisites that may include that the person, or place, of God’s coming – must be deserving, acceptable, holy, properly dressed, better behaved, more regular at church, and someone who prays more.

I believe that if we allow these assumptions to fall away, a new life, and a new world arise for us from Nazareth. Indeed, we do well to remember - that the “One who is Good” comes to each and every one of us from Nazareth, every day of our lives.

Let us continue to pray for one another every morning at 10:30, remembering that God grants us wisdom, love, and peace as we hold each other in God’s tender keeping. Much love and care to you all. Keep well and safe.

God’s Blessings, Pastor Laura

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