4 Epiphany February 3, 2019
First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10
The word of the LORD came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy." But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a boy'; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you, Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD." Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me, "Now I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant."
1. What excuses do we give when avoiding the call of God in our lives?
Psalm 71: 1-6, 15-17 Page 683, 684, BCP
In te, Domine, speravi
In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; *
let me never be ashamed.
In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; *
incline your ear to me and save me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; *
you are my crag and my stronghold.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, *
from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
For you are my hope, O Lord GOD, *
my confidence since I was young.
I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
from my mother's womb you have been my strength; *
my praise shall be always of you.
My mouth shall recount your mighty acts
and saving deeds all day long; *
though I cannot know the number of them.
I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord GOD; *
I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, you have taught me since I was young, *
and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
1. How aware are you of the sustaining power of God in your life and in the world?
Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 14:12b-20
Since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church. Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unproductive. What should I do then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will sing praise with the mind also. Otherwise, if you say a blessing with the spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say the "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since the outsider does not know what you are saying? For you may give thanks well enough, but the other person is not built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you; nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue. Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults.
1. How can you utilize your gifts to build up the church?
The Gospel: Luke 4:21-32
In the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus read from the book of the prophet Isaiah, and began to say, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, "Is not this Joseph's son?" He said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Doctor, cure yourself!' And you will say, 'Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.'" And he said, "Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet's hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian." When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way. He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority.
1. What made the people of Nazareth so angry?