Holding Butterflies

Not too tight, not too loose

Second Sunday after Epiphany, January 14, 2018

Today’s readings Green on the altar today, a little respite of Ordinary Time before Lent starts next month. During this period we will learn about Jesus’ ministry, kind of the “nuts and bolts” parts, like His baptism last week, ending with the Transfiguration in a couple of weeks. Today we will look at His calling the first disciples. Gospel: John 1:43-51 Today’s reading is a great example of our really needing to examine a much longer passage to get the full benefit. This piece is really more informative if we go back and read from verse 29. Don’t you love it when a passage opens with “The next day…” That automatically makes me go back and see what happened earlier. We see that three times in John Chapter 1: verse 29, verse 35 and 43. Before verse 29, John had been talking with the Pharisees about his baptism, and what exactly he was doing. The actual baptism of Jesus isn’t discussed, but is mentioned later, so I think we can.. Read More

Baptism of the Lord, January 7, 2018

Today’s Readings Wow! Christmas is over, and we are in Ordinary Time. This is the moment to catch your breath before Lent next month. I hope you had a good Christmas season. As I’m writing this, my tree is undecorated but our other Christmas decorations are still up, since I wanted to keep them up through Epiphany (which is January 6). I have really loved using the ideas of the seasons of the church to affect what our home life looks like. It will be interesting to see how Lent goes. But today we ease into Ordinary Time, time to examine the life and ministry of Jesus. We have white on the altar yet again today, though, because the Baptism of Jesus is a major feast day. Until Pentecost, all the readings will relate to the Gospel lesson, so I will begin there. Gospel:  Mark 1:4-11 We saw a portion of this reading back during Advent when we met John the Baptist. That reading went through verse 8. Remember that.. Read More

Epiphany, January 6, 2018

Today’s Readings I wanted to include a short discussion of Epiphany, even though we won’t be holding Sunday School today. This marks the end of the Christmas season. Traditionally it is the day that the Wise Men came to visit the baby Jesus. That is what our Gospel reading, from Matthew, tells us the story of. Interestingly, the Magi only appear in this one Gospel. (“Magi” was a term used to describe the Near East Magicians, and it ended up sticking to this group of men.) We don’t actually know how many “Wise Men” there were. Estimates range from three, because of the three gifts, to twelve. It’s interesting to note that the most Jewish-oriented Gospel, Matthew, is the one that records the visit from these Eastern men. They were plainly outsiders in that world, but Matthew goes out of his way to record these visitors. Finally, think about what the Wise Men were doing when they discovered Jesus. They were searching the stars. In their culture it was common to.. Read More