That’s God calling!
God is always calling us. He is always seeking a relationship with us.
In Jesus, God became fully human and walked with us. In Jesus, God knows our burdens and our joys, our weakness and our yearning. In Jesus, God invites us to “come and see” how our lives can be changed from the inside out.
What will we see? That Jesus himself is the house of God, the gate of heaven, the place where God comes to meet his people.
Jesus still leads us today, through the action of the Holy Spirit. He stirs us to follow Him on paths we never could have imagined. He struggles alongside us as we struggle. He invites us to be transformed into something more beautiful and more powerful than we ever could have dreamed.
At PEACE Lutheran Church, we invite you to walk this path with us. We are learning, too. We still are growing. You are welcome to grow with us!
Season of Epiphany
Like the natural seasons, the church year has spiritual seasons. Each has its purpose and themes as we walk this path of new life with Jesus. Now, we are in the church season of Epiphany.
During this time, we can think about the ways Jesus appears in our lives every day – through a kindness done by us or for us, through the way we attend to other’s needs and see our own needs filled, and through the love of God that flows from us and to us.
“Epiphany” comes from a Greek word meaning “to appear,” “to become manifest,” “to show” or “to make known.” During the weeks after Christmas, we Lutherans think about how Jesus’s identity and mission were made known in different ways, especially to Gentiles (people outside the Jewish faith – folks like us!). Three events are key during this time.
First, we celebrate the arrival of the Magi to visit the young child Jesus; this day, Epiphany, is Jan. 6. These “wise men” possibly were astrologers from Persia; they noticed the appearance of an unusual star and, following it, found Jesus and his family living in Bethlehem. Most importantly, these non-Jews worshipped Jesus. In some cultures, people exchange gifts on this day instead of at Christmas. (Epiphany Sunday is observed on Jan. 4.)
On Jan. 11, we celebrate the baptism of the adult Jesus. When Jesus rose up out of the water of the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit descended on him in the form of a dove, and the voice of God could be heard saying, “You are my Son, the Beloved.” This event gave people another hint at Jesus’ true identity.
At PEACE on these first two Sundays, you’ll notice the colors in our sanctuary are white and gold. They remind us of the purity of Jesus the Christ (God’s Anointed One), and our joy in knowing that he is the Light of the World.
The Epiphany season continues until the day before Ash Wednesday (this year, “Fat Tuesday” falls on Feb. 17). During these weeks, you’ll see the color green in our sanctuary. Green – usually used during times that are not high holidays – signifies spiritual growth.
During this time, we remember how Jesus started out his ministry, called his followers, taught in public places and healed people.
On the last Sunday after Epiphany, Feb. 15, we celebrate the Transfiguration of Our Lord. During this event near the end of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus went up to a high mountain with his closest followers. Jesus was filled with bright light, and Moses and Elijah appeared with him. Again, God’s voice could be heard saying: “This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him!” We understand this event to show that Jesus was to fulfill God’s promises made through these great prophets. For Transfiguration Sunday, we again use white in our sanctuary.
What does this mean for me?
So, far from being a “down-time” between Christmas and Easter, Epiphany is a growing season. We are encouraged to grow more like Jesus every day! Come learn and grow with us at PEACE Lutheran Church as we answer God’s call together!