The Cold Springer - Week of January 13, 2019
Sunday, Jan. 13th, 2019 - Morning Prayer
Love Your Beloved
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." Gospel of Luke
When John the Baptist answered his call to teach and baptize on the edge of the Jordan (on the edge of the wilderness, really) people were more than curious. They were compelled, drawn to this itinerant preacher who was talking the talk and walking the walk. He offered them a baptism of relief; asking them to step into the water and into an awareness that they were not meant to be burdened by religious legalism.
John's message was this: “You are not the sum of your sins!” Those who gathered to him needed liberation. They were oppressed… by the Romans, by the puppet King Herod and by their own religious tradition: meant to draw them closer to God, it was deepening the rift. It was in the midst of folks like this that Jesus would be baptized and begin his ministry.
In fact, it seems as though Jesus fell right in with the crowd. Neither the waters nor the crowds parted for him and it wasn’t until he was praying that heaven was opened, the Spirit landed on him and a voice spoke into his ear and into his heart, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." Jesus was called into the water, not because he needed redemption but because humanity needed a companion. It was in solidarity with us that Jesus - the word coming into the world - was baptized by John - the voice crying out in the wilderness.
Truth is, we all have voices that speak into our ears and into our hearts. What do those voices tell you? What do those voices tell you about you? “You’re ok, but you could be better...do more…” “With you I’m ambivalent...disappointed...” In Luke’s story of Jesus’ baptism we are given an opportunity to erase those voices and replace them with a new word.
In Christ’s baptism, humanity - all of it - is washed, given a second chance. When Christ rose from the waters, the world rose with him. God told Jesus he was beloved so that Jesus could show us that we are beloved. Sit silently and pray. Through Christ, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, God whispers into your heart: "You are my child, beloved; with you I am well pleased."
It is part of our legacy as Christians to pass this word on to those with whom we share our lives. As Christian parents this word of love and fulfillment is the foundation we are called to set down for the nurturing of our children. There is never a shortage of opportunities for us to share this word, with one another, with the world, and with our kids. Tonight, whisper in their ear: You are my child, beloved; with you I am well pleased.
The Reverend Jesse Lebus
This week in Children's Chapel our students will hear the story of Holy Baptism. This is good timing because it coincides with Jesus' baptism in our lectionary reading. This should allow for some fun conversations on the car ride home from church. "What do you think is the most important thing about Baptism?"
This Sunday's focus will set the students up for the following week when they come down to the "big church" to watch the newest member of our church receive the sacrament of Baptism.
Elements of Faith
Epiphany: Shimmering glimpses of the abundance of the Kingdom of God. Perhaps we, too, noticed a star and followed it. Or maybe someone led us to the gift of faith. Now we take the Light – the Good News – out into the world. Will others see the light shimmering in us? Will they risk taking a journey into faith with us?
These questions, and others, will be entertained by our Elements of Faith class for the next several weeks of the Epiphany season. Students will seek epiphanies in the texts and in their everyday lives, places where they catch a glimpse of who God is in their lives, and over the course of this season they will add these "Ah-Hah" moments to a banner. Look for the banner to appear before Lent.
Family Friday - Baking and Breaking Bread
Friday, Jan 18 at 6 pm
290 Harbor Road
Our clergy families will host the third annual bread baking winter Family Friday. All families are welcome to join us for a comforting casserole, beverages, and baking bread for Sunday's Eucharist. A main course will be provided, so please bring sides or salads to share.
MLK Jr. Day of Service - Making Meals
Monday, Jan 21, 12 - 2 pm
St. John's Church
St. John’s Church, Cold Spring Harbor and The Outreach Program are partnering to help families bring well balanced meals to their tables. Your help is needed make the dream come true!
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his prophetic witness for peace and justice we are hosting our meal making day of service. Folks of all ages are welcome to join in the effort to make over 20,000 meals in a few hours. If you took part last year, then you know it's possible and amazing what we can do to help those who are hungry.
Please join us. Community Service time available.