By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Scripture: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
In his book, Remember Who You Are, United Methodist pastor, bishop and professor Will Willimon poses the question: “Who first told you… that you were a wretched offender, miserable sinner, no good? Was it your parents, when they first shook you and scolded you and told you to behave? [Was it a teacher or coach when they told you to go to the bottom of the class or the bottom of the batting order?] Or your boss, when he asked you to do it over and try to get it right this time? Or your children, who looked at you and judged you to be parentally inadequate? Or, did they all tell you [that y]ou are the over-drinking, over-spending, over-sexed, under-achieving, under-giving, under-loving, worm-like one…” A poor excuse for the “image and likeness of God.”[i]
[i] Remember Who You Are: Baptism, a Model for Christian Life by William H Willimon; The Upper Room; 1980; p. 24.
“Most characteristically Methodist of all was the ‘Covenant Service.’ Methodists all over the country began to repeat it, and it became an annual institution for the first Sunday of the year.” - from Methodism by Rupert Davies
By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
Happy Epiphany. Today – Jan. 6 – is Epiphany; marking the end of the 12 days of Christmas. So, happy Epiphany. Many of you may not have even known that’s a thing. But here’s the thing: long before the Church celebrated Christmas, it celebrated Epiphany. We’ve all heard that word. Webster defines epiphany as a sudden appearance or manifestation. The fact that ancient Christians celebrated Epiphany before they began to celebrate Christmas should tell us something important: the birth of Jesus means very little if we do not recognize in his coming the appearance or manifestation of God. Matthew’s gospel tells us this baby is Emmanuel: God with us. It is not enough to celebrate a baby in a manger. Far more important is our recognition that the baby in the manger manifests the glory and goodness of Almighty God. This is more than a swaddled up baby to coo over and sing lullabies; this is the Son of God to whom we owe our worship, our gifts… our very selves. Or, as our communion liturgy puts it: “we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us.” Like the magi of Matthew’s gospel, we are called to offer Jesus our finest gifts.
On a lifelong journey of seeking to live out God's call on my life and to reflect His grace.
10 Minute Sermons