Third Sunday after the Epiphany
January 21, 2018
We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, separated, straight, gay, transgendered, mighty rich, mighty poor, or mightily trying. We welcome those who are crying newborns, skinny as a rail, or aiming to lose a few.
We extend a special welcome if you can sing like Andrea Bocelli or can only sing into a bucket. You’re welcome if you’re “just browsing” just woke up, or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re “cradle Episcopalian” or a “cafeteria Christian” or if you’re not sure what to be or believe. We don’t care if you have only seen the inside of a church through YouTube, think Hozier invented “Take me to church”, or haven’t been in church since your BFF from high school got married.
We extend a special welcome to those over 60 who haven’t grown up yet, and to teenagers who think they’re already grown up. We welcome soccer dads/moms, NASCAR moms/dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte sippers, card-carrying NRA members and card-burning Socialists. We welcome vegetarians and junk-food aficionados. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems, or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like “organized religion” – hey, many of us have been there too.
We extend a special welcome if you blew all your offering money at the casino, still think the earth is flat, work too hard, can’t sepll, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.
We extend a special welcome to those who are inked, pierced, both or undecided. You are welcome if you need a special prayer right now, don’t trust “religion” yet feel a spiritual tug, or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome seekers, finders, tourists, wanderers, doubters, bleeding hearts…and you.
This is your home. What unites us is Jesus Christ, his Life, Death, and Resurrection. The rest is details.
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
6 For God alone my soul in silence waits; *
truly, my hope is in him.
7 He alone is my rock and my salvation, *
my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
8 In God is my safety and my honor; *
God is my strong rock and my refuge.
9 Put your trust in him always, O people, *
pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.
10 Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath, *
even those of low estate cannot be trusted.
11 On the scales they are lighter than a breath, *
all of them together.
12 Put no trust in extortion;
in robbery take no empty pride; *
though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
13 God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, *
that power belongs to God.
14 Steadfast love is yours, O Lord, *
for you repay everyone according to his deeds.
I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.