BEING JESUS' DISCIPLE IN THE HERE AND NOW
Jeremiah 3:21-4:2; Psalm 130; I Corinthians 7:17-23; Mark 1:14-20
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
February 06, 2000
Epiphany is the season during which we remember how Jesus was made known ... made manifest .... and why Jesus was made known. Jesus was made known to change our lives ... to change our relationship with God. To deepen our relationship with God.
But has that made any difference to our world? And what difference does it make to us as individuals?
I have spent a considerable amount of time recently reflecting on those questions. And today is a particularly good day for me to share those reflections with you since today is our Annual Meeting. So this year my report to you will be in two parts. The first part will be these reflections. Then later I will include some more business like items during our actual meeting.
If Jesus is to make a difference for us and for this community, we must be disciples -- followers of Jesus Christ. What does that mean in very practical terms? ... Tough question. I don't think Jesus ever said that the critical issue was making some kind of proclamation .. a statement. Instead, Jesus focused on how we live our lives.
Two of Jesus' teachings come to mind -- first, what we call the Great Commandment. When asked the central question all rabbis were asked: "What is the most important commandment?" Jesus answered with the expected, and the unexpected. The expected was that a person should love God will all their heart, mind and soul. Few would dispute that answer. But then Jesus went on to add ... and I think it was to explain what it means to love God so completely ... that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. In essence Jesus simply restates the Golden Rule since "love" is not an emotion in this context but a way of acting. Jesus tells them to treat their neighbor as we wish to be treated.
The second teaching, from the Gospel o ...
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