January 14, 2021
I am holding on to hope. I am hoping that wisdom and calm will prevail. I am hoping that we, as a country, can find our way to reclaim our values of liberty and justice for all. I am hoping that we can recognize that saying we were wrong is nor a moral failing but an act of courage and the opportunity to find a new way forward.
We will gather for worship on Sunday as we have done for over 275 years. We will gather for prayer next week, with one another and members of the United Church of Christ. We will invoke the power of the Holy Spirit to fall afresh on us and give us wisdom and courage for the living of these days.
I share a prayer for going on from Steve Garnaas-Holmes:
Prayer for going on
Beloved, you have not given up on us. Shine your light within us.
Crucified One, you have been here before. Sustain us with your presence.
Give us the wholeheartedness to mourn our brokenness and then to rise and get to work.
Give us the resilience to stay faithful, even in the shadow of evil, to do justice and to love mercy.
Loving One, lead us.
Redeem our fear, redirect our despair and revive our spirits.
Give us hope and dissatisfaction.
Give us strength and patience.
Give us humility and courage.
Give us love that will not quit in the face of evil.
Be among us, be with us, be in us.
Faithful God hold our hearts in yours, and grant us your peace. Amen.
Worship Notes Second Sunday after Epiphany
In both the gospel lesson (John 1:43-51) and the Hebrew lesson (1 Samuel 3:1-10) we hear stories about God calling disciples. Samuel recounts the classic story of God calling him in the night. Samuel responds in the way most of us would want to respond: “Hear I am, Lord… “Speak, for your servant is listening.” In John’s gospel, the only gospel to mention Nathaniel as a character in Jesus’ gathering up his disciples (note that Nathaniel was not counted as one of the 12 disciples), we hear the question put to Jesus about worth and value. We hear Nathaniel wondering: “Can this guy from Nazareth be worth it?” We might ask the same question: Can anything of worth come out of our lives of faith, lived individually or lived together in the church in 2021?
Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701