Good afternoon, Elm Springs!
This Sunday we are celebrating the Baptism of the Lord, and we will be remembering our own baptism into the Christian faith as part of our service. Our scripture will be from John 5, where Jesus encounters the paralytic who's been waiting by the Pool of Bethesda to receive healing. Jewish belief held that angels would dip their fingers into the pool and the water would be stirred, or "troubled", and when this happened, the first into the pool would be healed. When the waters were troubled, some might receive healing, but many more did not.
I am still processing the events at the Capitol yesterday. I have taken time over the last 24 hours to pray for the people of our country, for our leaders, and for the members of law enforcement who are working to keep order. The waters of our national community are certainly troubled, and I know that no one is receiving healing at the moment. But, as in the gospel story, Jesus comes to this man who cannot walk, and he offers him healing and wholeness, no trip to the pool necessary. My prayer is that as we encounter that same Christ in our lives today, we take our experiences of grace and healing and share them with others. Please join me in this prayer.
Last Sunday we read the words of the prophet Isaiah, and they resonate now as much as ever:
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn." (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Rise up, brothers and sisters, so we may shine the light of God's glory into the darkness of this world.
Grace and Peace,