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Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Readings: Deuteronomy 18: 15-20, Psalm 111, 1 Corinthians 8: 1-13, Mark 1: 21-28

As many of you know, I am a member of the Lewisburg Sunrise Rotary Club.  We meet Wednesdays at 7 a.m.  This past week Steve Beattie of the Joint Rail Authority of SEDA-COG was the presenter.  It was all about the hundred plus year old railroads and bridges in our area that need repair and rebuilding.  Rain is eroding foundations; metal is suffering from fatigue; timbers are rotting away.  There have been years of neglect. 

Repairing bridges and building new bridges is also part of our mission as the People of God; new commitment and investment is needed.  Foundations have been washed away; resolve is suffering fatigue; old structures are deteriorating.  To extend the goodness of God to our neighbors, “thoughts and prayers” are just not enough, are not adequate.  Love needs to be put into motion, strong commitment and determined action is needed. 

In today’s Gospel reading Jesus extended his loving arms to the man in the synagogue in Capernaum who was under the power of “unclean spirits”.  There are many people within the reach of our loving arms that are also held captive by “unclean spirits”, spirits that need the healing touch of the goodness of God.

Jesus shares that goodness with us today, and extends his arms                                of love from the Holy Table.                                                                                                         We share God’s goodness with each other around our tables                                   at coffee hour.                                                                                                                                 Our Annual Meeting Reports are full of how we share God’s                                                goodness as a congregation. 

And they are just the beginning of our actions as we commit ourselves to extending our arms of love, our arms of goodness.  They are just the beginning of our commitment to bridge repair, to bridge building, over challenging, over troubled waters, over “unclean spirits”, as we go about our daily living. 

The words St. Paul wrote to the contentious congregation in Corinth, Greece are still true today – “knowledge puffs up but love builds up”.  The one we proclaim as our Lord and Savior repairs and rebuilds bridges of love in challenging, in troublesome times, and we are called to follow in his footsteps. 

The author of Psalm 111, verse 10 said it this way:

The good life begins in the awesomeness of God.                                                                         Act accordingly and you will know the blessings of God.                                                           God’s Hallelujah lasts forever!                                                                                                                                                    The Message

Let us as the saints of God be committed to the repair and the rebuilding of bridges with the goodness of God over troubled waters.

Let us as the saints of God extend our arms of love to those held captive by unclean spirits.

Then we will know the blessings of God.       

“God’s Hallelujah lasts forever!”

Amen

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