The season after Christmastide in the church begins with the celebration of the visit of the Magi to Jesus, on January 6, after the 12 days of Christmas. This event is known as “Epiphany,” which literally means revelation, or realization, and celebrates the revelation of the Christ to those who traveled so far to find him.
This year, the actual feast of Epiphany falls on a Sunday, January 6. On that Sunday we will use the One Communion Sunday Prototype (read more at fedchurch.org/rise-prototypes). We will offer Communion, anointing and release during this first service of the new year, and will only have one service at 10:00 am to gather our whole church family.
The first Sunday after Epiphany, January 13, we will go back to two services, our traditional service at 10:00 am, and our RISE to Shine service at 11:30 am. We will begin a sermon series on “Sacred Signposts,” inspired by the book of that same title written by Benjamin J. Dueholm. Sacred Signposts follows a list that Martin Luther identified as seven “holy possessions” of the Christian faith. There are as follows: Word, Water, Meal, Confession and Forgiveness, Ministry, Prayer, Praise and Worship, and Cross. These are practices that shape us as Christians. In order to know, to worship, to engage the transcendent God we believe in, we need particular practices. At the core of the Epiphany season is a willingness to open ourselves to finding God anew in the many ways that God appears to us, to open ourselves to the many “epiphanies” that come our way that we might otherwise never even notice. These sacred signposts help guide us along that journey.
We will follow the lectionary readings connected with the themes of the book as follows. We hope you will join us for this series, and gain a deeper understanding of our Christian practices, and a deeper awareness of God’s presence and love.
January 13 Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 Water
January 20 Psalm 36 and I Corinthians 12 Prayer, Praise and Worship
January 27 Nehemiah 8:1-10 and Luke 4:14-21 Word
February 3 I Corinthians 15 and Luke 4:21-30 Meal
February 10 Luke 5:1-11 Ministry
February 17 Luke 6:17-26 Cross
February 24 Luke 6:27-38 Confession and Forgiveness