Date: January 19, 2020

Bible Text: Isaiah 49:1-7, John 1:29-42 |

Presbyterians have a reputation for not talking about their faith very much. This, like most stereotypes, is a mix of fact and fallacy. It is true that our tradition is more introverted than some of our faith siblings. But in the right setting, I have heard many powerful stories and testimonies from otherwise reserved Presbyterians.

The season between Epiphany and Lent is a time when we focus liturgically on outgoing, extraverted faith and the witness of the Church. This week's lessons start us in that direction with Isaiah's prophecy about God's servant being a light to the nations and John's description how Jesus' first disciples met him and immediately started bringing others along. We'll see if perhaps we can learn how to be open to new possibilities of speaking about God's love, mercy, and grace in Jesus Christ.

Notes from the Preacher

The sermon is pretty straightforward, I think. The commentary I mentioned twice was The Jewish Annotated New Testament, Second Edition, NRSV, Oxford University Press, © 2011, 2017; Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler, eds. I just received this book as a gift, and I think it will be an important tool for years to come.

My favorite line from the sermon is: "As a proxy for Christ in the world, the Church and its members are called to work for a society that expects, demands, and extends loving justice to every human being." Don't be surprised if you hear that from me again.

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