St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Maple Glen, Pennsylvania

Readings and Reflections for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany

  Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

·  1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

·  Luke 4:14-21

· Dear Friends,

· The Book of Nehemiah celebrates the rediscovery of the the law given by Moses to Israel.  As the people of Israel return from physical captivity in Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem, a renewed understanding of their covenant with God is given them by Ezra to serve as the basis of their life together.

Luke’s Gospel tells of Jesus’ return to his village, where he stands in the synagogue to read from the prophet Isaiah.  By announcing that this scripture “has been fulfilled in your hearing,” he declares himself as the one who brings the fulfillment of God’s plan to restore the people of Israel.

In the Letter to the Corinthians, Paul describes the way God’s spirit works in a community to create a “body” of people in and through whom God’s purposes are worked out.

Comment:  How do people build their life together?  As people of faith, our lives as couples, families, citizens and church communities are bound together on the basis of a covenant relationship with God and one another. Today’s lessons remind me that this is by no means automatic or easy.  My own fragile, anxious, and defensive human self is easily distracted and I lose touch with Christ’s calling upon me. I need to be reminded daily of the invitations to make myself available as a member of the body of Christ, open to the leading and working of God’s own Holy Spirit.  And when in hindsight I can see how the Spirit has worked for me and through me in spite of my many limitations, I can rejoice at this wonderful grace!

David S. Robinson, Rector
Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church
Maple Glen, PA 19002