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Who is this Herod in my heart

From the Boundless Life collection

Who is this Herod in my heart
That seeks to kill the child?
It is the one who measures life
Till all is weighed and filed;

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Glory Everywhere (Matthew 17:1-13)

Jesus was executed by the Romans and died a tragic death. But then afterward, we hear the voice of God’s messenger telling the women who had come to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ dead body with spices: “He is not here, He has been raised.” God validated and vindicated Jesus’ life, message, and ministry by raising him from the dead. God had not abandoned Jesus. God was with Jesus through the whole ordeal. And when we get to the end of Matthew’s Gospel the cosmic Christ tells the disciples, “I will be with you through everything, even until the end of the age.” The Really Real, the risen Christ, the cosmic Christ, the Holy Spirit (use whatever name you prefer) is with us through all of life, in times of joy and hope, and in times of pain and disappointment.

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Topics: Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus, Point 2: Pluralism, and Point 3: Inclusive Community. Seasons & Special Events: Epiphany. Ages: Adult. Texts: Matthew. Resource Types: Sermons.

Appalachia Poster Child for Systemic Injustice: West Virginia A Theological Challenge for the Third Sunday After the Epiphany

In Matthew’s midrash of Isaiah’s prophecy, Jesus tours all over Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, curing all kinds of diseases, and proclaiming that God’s kingdom has come. The verses in Chapter 4 selected by the creators of the Revised Common Lectionary for the third Sunday after the Epiphany are the preface to Matthew 5:1 through 7:29, the great Sermon on the Mount. Jesus walks by the Sea of Galilee, and invites his disciples to leave their nets and become “fishers for people,” traditionally interpreted to mean saving souls from hell. But John Dominic Crossan, points out that Jesus could have brought his message anywhere in Roman occupied Judea. Why Galilee? Why Capernaum?

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Food for Thought: February 2 – The Presentation of the Lord

In the midst of the liturgical progression from Epiphany to Lent, tradition calls the church back to the mundane details of Jesus’ infancy. Luke’s Chapter 2 fills in the story from birth to circumcision to presentation as the first-born son to the coming-of-age of a gifted religious leader anointed by God. In The First Christmas (HarperOne, 2007), Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan suggest that Luke’s purpose was to set up the birth of the Jewish Messiah as a counter to the birth of the Roman Caesar – also hailed as the “Savior, Redeemer, Son of God.” The scene in the temple in Jerusalem confirms the child Jesus as the expected one who would redeem Israel from bondage to imperial injustice and oppression.

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The Three Wise Men’s Boogaloo

Written 23 December 1990

High steppin’ camels one by one
See the wise men boogaloo
Down to Bethlehem to have some fun

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Epiphany. Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.

LIfe Our Vision

In this New Year, let us lift our vision of what we can do and what we can achieve:

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The Wise Men Visit

1. Ancient stars would shed their light,
Shining bright, both day and night;
Heralding some wondrous birth
Of some god’s descent to earth;

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers and Point 6: Peace and Justice. Seasons & Special Events: Epiphany. Texts: Matthew. Resource Types: Hymns.

Theology from Exile: Commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary for an Emerging Christianity: The Year of Luke

The Year of Luke is the first in a series of commentaries on biblical scripture found in the three-year cycle of Christian liturgical readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. Instead of interpreting these readings as a precursor …

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In the Winter of Our Discontent: What Gift Shall I Offer?

A Reflection for Twelfth Night and the Epiphany Season

The journey of the magi, and their adoration on bended knee before a newborn peasant who presumably comes to subordinate the Herod’s of this world is a quaint and fanciful tale. But this year, the real exchange of gifts in the City of Angels was a modern day epiphany that suggest we might indeed still find for ourselves new, authentic life in such an otherwise arcane myth. Now the question is whether the meaning and message of Epiphany season will truly shed new light in the bleak midwinter of our discontent.

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Stony Trail

On a stony trail through the Sinai wastes
A little family headed south
Father, mother, little babe
A burdened donkey, head drooped down

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Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Epiphany. Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.

Words after Christmas

Christmas trees and tinsel
Yule logs and holly
Turkey and Christmas pudding

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Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 8: Compassion and Selfless Love. Seasons & Special Events: Christmas and Epiphany. Resource Types: Meditations, Poetry, and Readings.

Doxology for the New Year

Sung to the traditional tune

Praise God who calls us on from here,
Praise Christ whose presence calms our fear,
Praise Holy Spirit in our lives,
God calls and leads and through us thrives. Amen.

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Epiphany. Resource Types: Chants and Hymns.
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