Yesterday, I presided at the funeral of Franklin “Bud” Edmunds, a long time member of St Francis in the Fields. The lessons were Isaiah 61:1-3, Psalm 23 (KJV), 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15, & John 6:37-40. May we all walk this pilgrim life in the hope of the resurrection.
As we progress through the Life of Christ icon, we come across the readings from the Second Sunday in Epiphany, Year C, to guide our ruminations. Psalm 36:5-10, Isaiah 62:1-5, and John 2:1-11, each help us appreciate the love of God and how the covenant of marriage models Christ’s love for his Church and how honoring marriage inspires us to pursue a deeper connection with the Triune God whose love for us is unfathomable.
Continuing through our Lord’s life depicted in the Life of Christ icon, we arrive at his baptism in the Jordan by the John the Baptist. The Psalmist, Prophet Isaiah, and St Luke each reinforce this remarkable moment in Jesus’ life in their own way. And Christ’s very own faithfulness on our behalf opens the way for all baptized persons to take hold resurrection life and our Father’s love by faith.
This Summer, we are taking a look at the life of Jesus as inspired by the Life of Christ Icon. It has a central pantokrator (Ruler of All) surrounded by vignettes from our Savior’s redemptive life. Today we see consider how Jesus models humility in his incarnation, as we read Psalm 96, Isaiah 9:2-7, and the famous Christmas story from Luke 2:1-14.
Every Holy Week, Episcopal clergy typical renew their vows from when they were ordained. In the Diocese of Pittsburgh, we share that service with our fellow clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This year, the Lutherans hosted and their bishop presided, while Bp. Dorsey McConnell preached. He preached on the texts from Isaiah 61, Revelation 1, and Luke 4. May we each come to appreciate the weighty call places upon all his baptized family to spread the Good News in word, deed, and sacrament.
Touching base back at Isaiah again, the lectionary reinforces God’s hope to restore and rebuild his people if they put economic oppression of others, conflicts, and hypocritical spirituality away. That’s right, you can’t love God without loving your neighbor.
In our lectionary readings, Isaiah opens our eyes once again how the promises of God’s salvation not only enlighten us spiritually, but bring us joy as we hope for the future.