Monday, January 30, 2012

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany: 30 January 2012

Those of you who were subscribers to Homily Service during its (sadly now ended) years of publication will recall that it contained, for each Lord’s Day and major feast, an article consisting of:

  • Exegesis (“Studying the Lectionary”)
  • Reflection upon the texts (“Healing Word”)
  • Sermon illustrations, poems and hymn texts (“Ideas and Illustrations”)
  • The full text of a sermon (“Serving the Word”)
  • A set of provocative and inspirational questions about the texts (“Welcoming the Word”)

In the "Serving the Word" section of the 2009 issue of Homily Service, Aaron J. Couch offered the full text of an absolutely luminous sermon on this week’s Gospel lesson. Here is a short excerpt.

... Jesus invites us to make our requests known to God, because God loves us and cares for us. And we may or may not receive a cure for our disease, but God’s power for healing is always available. It is God’s power for healing that takes away our fear of the unknown and makes us able to trust that our future is safe in God’s care. It is God’s power for healing that weeps away our guilt and shame, so that we can embrace the forgiveness that God gives, and know that we are God’s beloved children. It is God’s power for healing that overcomes our hurt and mistrust so that we can forgive others. It is God’s power for healing that makes us know that our lives are not some random accident. Our lives have meaning because God has made us a part of God’s great work of love to bring a new world to birth. We are not lost and alone in some insignificant corner of a cold and immense cosmos, because God fills the entire universe - including right here. And we are God’s beloved creatures, known and held in love by our Creator.

Now doesn’t that just make you want to purchase the back issue so that you can read the whole thing?

Aaron J. Couch (2008): 8 February 2009 - Epiphany 5 - Ordinary 5. Homily Service 42:1, 134.

Aaron J. Couch is co-pastor of First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon.

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