Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12
Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with your God – Micah 6:8
Lead a blameless life, do what is right, speak the truth from your heart
No guile, do not evil to your friend, do not show contempt to your neighbor
God is faithful
Fear the Lord
Do not offer bribes or accept bribes
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Proclaim Christ crucified
Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God
God chose the Foolish to shame the wise, God chose the weak to shame the strong, God chose the low and the despised, things that are not to reduce to nothing the things that are so that no one can boast in the presence of God – let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord
God is the source of your life in Jesus Christ, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption
The Sermon on the Mount – the Beatitudes
Good Morning dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ. Thank you for joining us this morning for worship and for our annual meeting. We need at least 25 members in good standing, so please plan to stay if at all possible for the meeting. A member in good standing is baptized, has partaken of communion at least three times in the past year and has given of their time, talent and/or treasure for the benefit of the community.
I want to take this time to thank you for the part you play in the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry challenged the Episcopal Church to get out of our church buildings and into the streets of our communities. This is something the people of St. James’ already do and continue to do. We are not perfect, but we know that the joys of the journey of faith are the detours we take along the way. I just reread a little book by Henry van Dyke called “The Story of the Other Wise Man”. The opening poem reads,
Who seeks for heaven alone to save his soul,
May keep the path, but will not reach the goal;
While he who walks in love may wander far,
Yet God will bring him where the blessed are.
I highly recommend this Epiphany story to you. I am proud to be your priest and spiritual leader. May the love of God be with us all today and for evermore. Amen.
Following in the example of the author of the Beatitudes:
Blessed are those who provide music for they shall hear the heavenly choir.
Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for they will be filled.
Blessed are those who host community suppers and support the AIM Food Pantry for they will be welcomed to the banquet table of heaven.
Blessed are those who prepare and serve at the Altar of the Lord, pray, read Scripture, and clean our building for they will see the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are those who work with the children of St James in worship, Christian Formation and Episcopal Youth Camp; blessed are those who work with the children of the community of Albion in Albion Reading Camp, Albion Big Read, and Ecumenical Vacation Bible School for you are the Sons and Daughters of God.
Blessed are those who welcome the stranger and provide hospitality to the visitor in the name of Jesus Christ for you will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God.
Blessed are those who provide a home for the homeless for Jesus has gone to prepare a room for you in his Father’s house.
Blessed are the teachers of the Albion area children and youth, the professors of Albion College and the teachers of Adults in GED and Life Long Learning for you will learn what it means to be a disciple and a follower of the Way of Jesus Christ.
Blessed are you who are sick and suffer the slings and arrows of this world for you shall be healed.
Blessed are those who have swastikas sprayed on their walls for they will stand in unity against hate and violence.
Blessed are those who advocate for the poor, the old, the young, the lonely and the marginalized for Jesus will be your advocate in the heavenly courts.
Blessed are those who are rejected and shunned for welcoming and affirming the other in the name of Jesus Christ for the Kingdom of Heaven is yours.
Blessed are those who love for they are loved by God their father.