NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2021
This Sunday is the 2nd Sunday After the Epiphany. It is also the Sunday before America observes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday. It is a good time to be reminded that while Dr. King lead protest for equal justice and civil rights, he was absolutely committed to peace protest. The assigned lectionary Hebrew and Christian text are instances in which God and Jesus call out to people to follow them.
My parents always sought to be the voice that impacted their children the most. They were voices that tried to prepare us to travel the road of hope, making good choices and listening to voices that encouraged us in the right ways. I can remember them voicing concerns about following the wrong crowd and allowing “them” to impact our decisions adversely. Mama on many occasions, quoted to us I Corinthians 15:33, “Bad company corrupts good character.”
I thought of this while reading the assigned scriptures for this week of God calling out to Samuel and Jesus saying to Philip “Follow Me.” Perhaps it was because of the events this past year and especially this month.
We live in a world where many folks who claim to follow Christ are not showing it in what they say or their actions. Look no further that than those who claim to be followers of Christ but joined in the insurrection at the U.S. Capital. Look no further than who claim to be followers of Christ protestors last summer who went beyond legitimate, peaceful protest and joined in violence and destruction. The reason many of “these followers of Christ” crossed the line is that we live in a world with thousands of voices of distraction. All trying to push their own agenda. It is a good time to be reminded that while Dr. King lead protest for equal justice and civil rights, he was absolutely committed to peace protest.
As followers of Christ, we are not monolithic. We have different opinions on political, social, and even faith issues. However, we must NOT allow outside voices to fuel our passion and opinions in a way that leads us into actions that do not reflect our faith in Christ and His teaching. At all times, especially when we feel angst and are troubled with what’s going on in the world; we must make sure we are following to the only voice that truly has our best interest at heart. It is the voice that Samuel said to “Speak, for your servant is listening.” It is the voice that said to Phillip “Follow Me;” and he did.
I’m looking forward to being back in the pulpit this Sunday. Please join us in worship by zoom and or Facebook livestream. My sermon will be “Who are You Listening to?” It is based on “I Samuel 3:1-10” and “John 1:43-51.”