This being the first Sunday of January (and of the New Year) we will be celebrating the Sacrament of Communion.
The Scripture Reading for this week is
The Sermon title is Gifts & Blessings, Fear & Murder
Early Thoughts: It is a story we all know. Sort of. Matthew's version of the Nativity story has the visitors from afar bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And so we have the "three kings" showing up in many Sunday school pageants (and of course in the carol of that name).
But the thing is we often don't read the whole story. As the lectionary is built the 2nd half of the story is set to be read the Sunday after Christmas (which is often the Sunday before we read the 1st, more familiar, half) which is often a "low" Sunday in terms of attendance. So this week we will read the WHOLE story. Both the adoration and the tragedy.
How do we react when the world is being changed? Do we celebrate or strike out?
Matthew, in chapter 2, reminds us that both happen. Matthew reminds us that sometimes discretion is the better part of valour (go to Egypt until the danger has passed). Matthew reminds us that God breaking into the world, God transforming the world, is a threat to some people.
As God continues to break into the world, as God continues to cause transformation to happen in the world, are we aligning ourselves on the side of gifts and blessings? Or are we reacting in fear, in murder?