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Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Readings: I Samuel 3: 1-20; Psalm 139: 1-5, 12-17; I Corinthians 6: 12-20; John 1: 43-51

Let’s begin with the stirring words of St. Paul to the church community gathered in Corinth, Greece.

…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body. 

Simply put, Christ died on the cross and rose again to light a fire in us, the fire to love God, love neighbor, and love self.  We embody that fire, that light, that goodness, that love.  Yes, we do.  Though the shape of our “temple” may change with time, the light, the goodness, the love remains within us.

Psalm 139 affirms God’s presence within us.

Lord, you have searched me out and known me; You know my sitting down and my rising up; You discern my thought from afar.

While we can hide from others, there is no hiding from God who dwells deep within us.  That Holy Spirit living deep within us, within our soul, assures us that there is no giving up in God’s loving us into being more fully the individuals that God created us, indeed, that God endowed us, to be.  There is no quit in God’s love for us!

Heraclitus, the fifth century B.C.E. philosopher of Ephesus wrote that

the only thing that is constant is change, everything flows, no man ever steps into the same river twice.

On the one hand he is accurate, in this life experience everything is always changing, no two moments are alike.  However, God is our constant; God is our Light; God is our love; God is our goodness.

In this Epiphany season I am reminded of the North Star that seems motionless over the North Pole.  Northern Sailors have relied on its steadiness to read their latitude parallel to the equator, to know their position on the vast sea. 

Now we are ready to review our reading from I Samuel.  Eli was an old priest at the temple of Shechem, before King Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem.  We are told that Eli failed as a father in mentoring his two sons.  He was a “laissez-faire” father, and his two sons wandered far away from faithfulness.  Yet God still burned within Eli, enabling him to mentor the young Samuel.  So, could anything good come from the old priest Eli in Shechem?  Yes, he assisted young Samuel in discerning the voice of God calling out to him. Later, Samuel went on to anoint the future King David.

In the reading from the Gospel according to St. John, skepticism arose in Jesus’ own time as well.

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

In Bethsaida Jesus found Philp, Andrew, and Peter. And Philip found skeptical Nathaniel who wondered how such a place like Nazareth could possibly produce the one about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote.       

The Epiphany Star shines over us until Ash Wednesday to remind us that there is a constant in this world of change.  The God we know through Jesus of Nazareth is constant in love, in light, in goodness, and that God lives here in the hearts of each and every one of us this morning.  We are God’s people; we are temples of God’s Holy Spirit.

Though our head’s may be fuzzy at times, though maybe our eyes a bit cloudy at times, though our joints may be a bit shaky at times

[God is] acquainted with all [our] ways…

God knows how we can best serve in our present state and in our present age.  God knows our potential.  God knows how we can continue to be of use in ministry and mission.

To paraphrase, can anything good come out of Selinsgrove?

Absolutely, we are the saints of Selinsgrove. We can be light in darkness; we can be love in despair; we can be goodness in danger.

Thanks be to God. 

Amen

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