St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Maple Glen, Pennsylvania

Readings and Reflections for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Jeremiah 1:4-10

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

 Luke 4:21-30

 Psalm 71:1-6

Dear Friends,

Jeremiah resists the call of God upon him, saying, “I am only a boy…I don’t know how to speak.”  But the Lord who has always known him has consecrated and appointed him, and promises to be with Jeremiah in this calling.

Luke’s Gospel tells the story of Jesus’ visit to his hometown.  There is more here at work than the limiting expectations of people who saw him grow up among them.  That dynamic is real, but Jesus “throws gas on the fire” but proclaiming the favor of God for foreign unbelievers, provoking the rage of all in the synagogue.

The context of the famous “Hymn to Love” in 1 Corinthians 13 is a community that was wrangling over who had the most impressive and important spiritual gifts.  Without love, says Paul, the most dramatic and impressive act is just a lot of noise.  We might infer from this the opposite as well:  that with love, the most mundane and simple act is the glory of God among us.

Comment:  When faced with my own limitations (Jeremiah’s “too young” could become “too busy” or “too old”), I must continually be reminded that “it’s not about me.” The power of God is not limited by my thoughts, abilities or accomplishments.  Rather it’s about the Lord who is with me, and about His love that works through an offered and responsive (obedient) life.  The love and power of God is greater than any human limitations or boundaries!

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