The Week Ahead…
Jan. 22, 10:00-12:00pm – Ecumenical Bible Study
Jan. 26, 9am, Holy Eucharist, Rite I
Jan. 26, 10am, Christian Ed – Genesis. We consider Noah
Jan. 26, 11am, Morning Prayer
Jan. 26 – The Third Sunday after the Epiphany Readings and Servers
Treasures under St. Peter’s
Dave and Arthur Duke made a presentation of some of their metal detecting finds at St. Peter’s as part of the Parish Meeting, Jan. 19, 2020. Their finds include a buttons, a fork, coins including one from the British American ambulance corps during World War II, and Scottish Kilt pin and US Cartridge Box place which Dave said was the best object they had found. Dave has plans to put them into a display cabinet at St. Peter’s.
Congregational Meeting, 2020 reports
Epiphany – Jan 6 until Lent begins Feb. 26, 2020
Adoration of the Magi – Bartholomäus Zeitblom (c. 1450 – c. 1519)
The English word “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word epiphaneia, which means “appearing” or “revealing.” Epiphany focuses on God’s self-revelation in Christ.
Epiphany celebrates the twelfth day of Christmas, the coming of the Magi to give homage to God’s Beloved Child.
The Epiphany celebration remembers the three miracles that manifest the divinity of Christ. The celebration originated in the Eastern Church in AD 361, beginning as a commemoration of the birth of Christ. Later, additional meanings were added – the visit of the three Magi, Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River with the voice from heaven that identifies Jesus as God’s son, and his first miracle at the wedding in Cana. These three events are central to the definition of Epiphany, and its meaning is drawn from these occurrences.
Epiphany Christian Ed on Genesis continues on Jan 26, 10am
Genesis is foundational to the whole Bible, and to every human life. Genesis tells us who God is, who we are, how things went wrong, and the plan that God has put in place to return the earth to the way it was meant to be.
In Genesis, God’s purposes for the heavens and earth are distorted by sin spreading through all the earth. We saw this on Jan 19 with the deception of the snake and explusion of Adam and Eve from the garden. Here are the notes.
Even after Adam and Eve sin and are punished, the promise is given that the offspring of the woman will defeat the serpent and restore the earth. The focus is on one man: Abraham. Through him and his family God would bring blessing to all nations.
This promise is traced throughout the book in its genealogies, which provide the backbone of the entire book. Key divisions are traced by “These are the generations of,” tracing out the stories of key figures, starting with “the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 2:4–4:26), and going on to Adam (Gen. 5:1–6:8), Noah (Gen. 6:9–9:29), the sons of Noah (Gen. 10:1–11:19), Shem (Gen. 11:10–26), Terah (Gen. 11:27–25:11), Ishmael (Gen. 25:12–18), Isaac (Gen. 25:19–35:29), Esau (Gen. 36:1–37:1), and Jacob (Gen. 37:2–50:26). An amazing story, it is the longest book in the Bible.
Join us at 10am in the Parish House during Sundays in Epiphany as this pivotal book. Next week on Jan 26 our subject is Noah.
Lectionary Epiphany 3, Jan 26, Year A
I.Theme – Call to service with a call for unity
The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew" – Duccio de Buoninsegna (1308-1311)
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
1. Isaiah 9:1-4- Isaiah
2. Psalm- Psalm 27:1, 5-13 Page 617
3. Epistle – 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
4. Gospel – Matthew 4:12-23
Isaiah provides the foretelling of Christ even at a time of defect.
The Gospel answers the question of the character of this ministry and what got it started.
John the Baptist’s death was the spark that caused the ministry to begin. It was necessary to emphasize in this beginning that Jesus’ ministry is aligned with God’s purpose as it is revealed in the Scriptures.
When the news comes to him about John’s arrest, he makes a different choice, by withdrawing to Galilee, where he calls his first disciples, preaches the Sermon on the Mount, begins his ministry of healing, and teaches what it means to be the Messiah who is "God with us."
Unlike the Gospel of John, Matthew does not identify Jesus as the light of the world. Nonetheless, the prophecy from Isaiah makes clear that Jesus’ return to Galilee will be the occasion for those who sit in darkness to see "a great light" (Matthew 4:16-17). No doubt Jesus’ ministry of teaching and healing is the basis for that light.
Jesus calls people as they are, from where they are, being who they are. At the same time, however, as the gospel narrative proceeds, readers learn that it is the followers of Jesus who bear his light in the world by their own (collective) way of life. In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells the people, "You (plural) are the light of the world,. . . Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16). Jesus’ proclamation that the realm (kingdom) of heaven has come near is the first flicker of a light that will grow and burn among his followers until they are able to "proclaim
Those first disciples, for their part, might have preferred to keep their jobs, to remain with their families, to stay with the life that they knew. When they see Jesus and hear his words to them, they make a different choice, however; they take a risk, step out in faith, leave behind that which is comfortable and secure. They choose to follow Jesus.
Paul 25 years after Christ wants the message of Christ to come through despite division in Corinth. Christ name was synonomous with the Church. There was some fragmentation. The Corinthians were putting certain leaders into a place that really belonged only to God. In that sense they were becoming ‘cult figures’. Jesus role needs to be restored.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Jan 18-25, 2020
Theme for 2020:
"Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power;"
They showed us unusual kindness…(Acts 28:2)
At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21). Hearts are touched and Christians come together to pray for their unity. Congregations and parishes all over the world exchange preachers or arrange special ecumenical celebrations and prayer services. The event that touches off this special experience is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Traditionally the week of prayer is celebrated between 18-25 January, between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul.
"The materials for the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by the Christian churches in Malta and Gozo (Christians Together in Malta). On 10th February many Christians in Malta celebrate the Feast of the Shipwreck of St Paul, marking and giving thanks for the arrival of Christian faith on these islands. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles used for the feast is the text chosen for this year’s Week of Prayer. The story begins with Paul being taken to Rome as a prisoner (Acts 27:1ff). Paul is in chains, but even in what turns out to be a perilous journey, the mission of God continues through him. This narrative is a classic drama of humanity confronted by the terrifying power of the elements. The passengers on the boat are at the mercy of the forces of the seas beneath them and the powerful tempest that rages about them. These forces take them into unknown territory, where they are lost and without hope.
"Today many people are facing the same terrors on the same seas. The very same places named in the reading (27:1, 28:1) also feature in the stories of modern-day migrants. In other parts of the world many others are making equally dangerous journeys by land and sea to escape natural disasters, warfare and poverty. Their lives, too, are at the mercy of immense and coldly indifferent forces – not only natural, but political, economic and human. This human indifference takes various forms: the indifference of those who sell places on unseaworthy vessels to desperate people; the indifference of the decision not to send out rescue boats; and the indifference of turning migrant ships away. This names only a few instances. As Christians together facing these crises of migration this story challenges us: do we collude with the cold forces of indifference, or do we show “unusual kindness” and become witnesses of God’s loving providence to all people?
Conversion of Paul, January 25
On January 25 we remember how Saul (or Paul) of Tarsus, formerly a persecutor of the early Christian Church, was led by God’s grace to become one of its chief spokesmen. Here are two art works that depict the event :
“The Conversion on the Way to Damascus; ” (1601) “ The Conversion of St. Paul ” Nicolas-Bernard Lepicie, 1767
"and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him. And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Who said: Who art thou, Lord? And he: I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. " Acts 9: 3-5
Italian painter Caravaggio painted the one on the left in 1601 for the Cerasi Chapel of the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, in Rome. The painting depicts the moment recounted in Chapter 9 of Acts of the Apostles when Saul, soon to be the apostle Paul, fell on the road to Damascus.
Caravaggio is close to the Bible. The horse is there and, to hold him, a groom, but the drama is internalized within the mind of Saul. There is no heavenly apparition. He lies on the ground stunned, his eyes closed as if dazzled by the light.
Caravaggio’s style featured a dark background with usually one point of breaking light. Paul is flung off of his horse and is seen on his back on the ground. Although Paul reflects the most light out of all the characters, the attention is given to him in a strange way. Because Paul is on the ground, he is much smaller than the horse, which is also at the center of the painting but he is pictured closer to the viewer.
The second painting constrast with Caravaggio in the use of color and light. This one has some of the most vibrant colors. Heaven’s light is shown coming dynamically from left to right. The painting is like the key frame in a movie on the conversion. At the time Lepicie was a professor at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris.
From Christian Courier
"Exactly when Paul began his bloody mission of savagery against the church of Christ is unknown with any degree of precision. The fear of him was significant, and those beyond the borders of Palestine trembled at the mention of the name of this “wolf” who stalked “the fold of the Lamb” (Acts 9:13,26; cf. 26:11).
"Saul of Tarsus first appears in the biblical record as a witness to the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr to the cause of Christ—even “consenting” to his death (Acts 7:58; 9:1). Henceforth his persecution of Christians, as portrayed in the book of Acts via his own testimony, was relentless—though he thought sincerely he was doing Jehovah’s will (23:1; 26:9). Pursuing the saints even unto foreign cities (26:11), he beat, imprisoned, and had them put to death (22:19). Later he would write that “beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and made havoc of it” (Galatians 1:13). The horrible memories of these vicious attacks would linger with the sensitive apostle for the balance of his earthly days (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:9; Ephesians 3:8; 1 Timothy 1:15).
"That frenzied ambition to exterminate Christianity from the face of the earth was to radically change, however. And the record of how that occurred is as amazing as it is inspiring.
"According to Luke’s historical record (Acts 9:1ff), Saul, armed with arrest warrants for those of the Christian Way, departed from Jerusalem en route to ancient Damascus, some 140 miles to the north. As he drew near that city, a light brighter than the noonday sun suddenly engulfed him. A voice inquired: “Saul, Saul, why do you continue to persecute me?” The double use of his name suggests a reproof (cf. Matthew 23:37; Luke 10:41; 22:31). Saul responded: “Who are you, Lord?” The title “Lord” was employed at this point as a mere term of respect, for he knew not who had addressed him.
"The voice was identified as Jesus of Nazareth! The stunned persecutor was instructed to enter Damascus where he would be informed as to what he “must do.” Blinded as a consequence of this miraculous vision in which Christ actually appeared to him (9:17; 1 Corinthians 15:8), Saul was led into the city.
"For three agonizing days he fasted and prayed. Finally, Ananias, a messenger selected by God, arrived. He restored Saul’s sight and commanded him to “arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16). After certain days passed, the former persecutor began to proclaim among his fellow Jews that Jesus “is the Son of God” (see Acts 9:19-22)."
10. Recent Services:
Block Print by Mike Newman
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Saints of the Week, – Jan. 19 – Jan. 26, 2020
|Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton & Margery Kempe, Mystics, 1349, 1396, & c.1440
Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095
|Fabian, Bishop and Martyr of Rome, 250|
|Agnes & Cecilia, Martyrs at Rome, 304 & c.230|
|Vincent, Deacon of Saragossa, and Martyr, 304|
|Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, 1893
Satoko Kitihara, Worker of Charity, 1958
|Ordination of Florence Li Tim-Oi, 1944|
|The Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle|
|Timothy & Titus, Companions of Saint Paul|