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January 31st, 2021: Epiphany 4

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

We are nearing the end of Epiphany. There are only two more weeks left in this Season. This week has, once again, been a wonderful time for me, as I connected in with so many of you through phone and text. We continue to do well in both congregations. We are staying safe, keeping well, and enjoying our families and friends through phoning, facetiming, zooming, and skyping.

It is hard to imagine that in just two week we will be concluding the Season of Epiphany. Following the Season of Epiphany, we enter the Season of Lent. Lent begins on Wednesday, February 17th, with Ash Wednesday. Sunday, February 21st, is Lent 1, and during the Lent 1 Worship Service, we will be celebrating Holy Communion. I will remind you over the next couple of weeks about this special service, so that you can have your juice and your bread available to participate in the Communion Service during the Sunday morning YouTube service.

My sermon this week is based on Mark 1:21-28, and is entitled “A Question of Authority”. In the lesson from Mark’s Gospel, we hear about the teachings of Jesus who speaks with authority. We, then, consider that in today’s world we often use the words ‘power’ and ‘authority’ interchangeably. But, for our purposes I want to make a distinction between the two.

If we peer into the world in which Jesus lived, the scribes, along with the Pharisees and the Sadducees, had power. They were the interpreters of the law. They were part of the cultural ‘power ‘structure of the day. Their power was simply a given. Yet, they did not, necessarily, have the support of the people, so they lacked ‘authority’.

Genuine authority does not come from one’s position in the society, but from somewhere beyond one’s self. Authority is embodied through a sense of call.

Jesus had authority. People gravitate toward genuine authority, because it speaks to the heart; because genuine authority is recognized as being different, and it is recognized as having come from above.

Jesus’ authority ultimately trumps all worldly powers. It is an authority that comes from outside of us, and is the food of hope, peace, joy, and grace, whose singular nutritional authority comes from God. It is here, as we worship together, that we receive this food of new life, and meet the Holy One of God, who has the authority to transform us.

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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