Monday, January 7, 2013

Looking Forward to January 13, 2013 -- Baptism of Jesus Sunday

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Isaiah 43:1-7
  • Psalm 29 (VU p.756)
  • 1 Peter 2:9-10

The Sermon title is Water and Fire 

Early Thoughts: We are named and claimed by God. What does that mean?

Fire and water are ambiguous elements.  They can be agents of cleansing or of destruction.  They can be essential for life or they can destroy life.  And both are symbols related to the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah talks about God as the one who goes through the fire and the water with us so that we will not be overwhelmed.  And that is a comfort.  But it is also a challenge.

It is a comfort because we know that life in general, and living faithfully to the God who sets out an alternative view of how the world could be in particular, brings it's fair share of challenges.  It is good to be reminded that we are not alone in those challenges.

It is a challenge because it means we should be more willing to take on the paths that lead through fire and water.  It removes the excuse of fear (in theory anyway) that comes with standing up for an alternative worldview.  WE belong to God, who has named and claimed us.  WE stand with God, who has redeemed us.  So now we have the tools we need to take on the fire and water.

How will we embrace the challenge?  How will we live as people who have been named and claimed by God?

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