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    Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

    Preacher: David Macdonald

    Category: Faith

    4th Sunday after Epiphany
    January 29th 2017
    “Lift up your eyes to the heavens.”
    (Isaiah 51)
    I am reminded of the fact that January was named for the Roman god ‘Janus’

    …Janus stood as the ‘gatekeeper’
    before the doorway to a new year…
    In the Roman world…it fell on the
    41st day after the winter solstice…
    On February 1st…which is upon us next week.

    Several things were symbolized…
    Janus would return to the darkness of the underworld…because he could no longer keep out the light…which was ever increasing…
    Which has now added forty-seven minutes of light to the day since December 21st.

    I have some thoughts for us…

    How prepared are we for the light of Christ that comes into the very darkness of winter…
    Or Lent?…
    Which hopefully moves us to attend to the spiritual sides of our nature…rather than the worldly & carnal sides of our beings? As Isiah said…
    How often do we lift up our eyes to the heavens?

    It occurs to me that for individuals, families, schools, businesses, communities, even churches…we
    can schedule ourselves into a corner!

    We mean well…it is always exciting to have this or that to attend to…
    filling our time…purpose.

    With individuals…it is time management
    With families…it is called event management
    With schools…it is curriculum management
    With business…it is money & product management
    In communities…it is operations & agenda management
    In churches…it is called ministry management

    We get so busy managing the jobs we are called to…
    We can forget what the main purpose of our
    lives are for.

    Increasingly…we lose our way…under the guise of keeping up with things we are anxious about!
    We mistake business for centeredness.

    I was reminded of Jesus’ lament when he looked out upon his people & the pace of life in his day…observing that they were so busy coming and going that they had no leisure or time even to eat.

    [Mark 6]

    Our Lord suggested we should…
    “come away to a deserted place and rest for a while”
    He knew what is important…

    One of the things I have said to each person who comes into the church is this phrase…
    Welcome…come and rest here for a while.


    It strikes me today…on the day of our ‘annual meeting’
    That we should re-discover holy sanctuary…

    (each of us)

    May have forgotten how important it is to rest our spirits…
    Lifting up our eyes to the heavens

    I say these things to you in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit ~ Amen.