We have a catechetical crisis in our church. Vast swaths of our laity and not a few clergy are unable to articulate even the most rudimentary understanding of either baptism or eucharist.
Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
It’s worth inviting people into this mystical journey of triumph, friendship, tenderness, betrayal, desolation, pain, death, grief, astonishment, and victory. It’s worth it because God is glorified, our faith is enriched, and people are drawn into a deeper relationship with our Lord.
As disciples, we’re followers, and followers are always on the move. So a pretty good way to think of preaching is as a way to keep the followers moving, for Christ our leader is always challenging us to grow into the full stature of his likeness.
If the dismissal were about going into the world to be nice, then it might make sense to add some alleluias or even a “Yay, rah!” But the dismissal is anything but that.
Charles was martyred so that Anglican Christians would still have bishops (and the whole three-fold ministry). In other words, this martyr valued the Gospel and the church more than his own life. He is a witness for us. That is what a martyr is, after all.
Sometimes, I think we confuse the work of the church and the work of disciples. The church — literally, the ekklesia, the community — is found where Christians are gathered. The work of the church is to offer prayer and praise; to proclaim the Gospel; and to promote justice, peace, and love.
In an annual tradition, here is the customary Epiphany Proclamation, to be read out at services today and shared with the faithful. Since I am not serving in a parish, I am pleased to share this with you, dear reader, here on 7WD.