Hello Farm Church!
Due to the weather this weekend, we’re not going to meet at SEEDS tomorrow for worship. But remember – we don’t go to church; rather, we are church. And so we invite you to be church this weekend, wherever you are!
Here are some suggestions…
1. Be church in your reflection. Sunday is “Epiphany Sunday,” so think a bit about EPIPHANY!
The word "epiphany" means "a sudden moment of intuitive understanding"—a moment, perhaps, for reflecting on the meaning of time—the meaning of a decade, the meaning of a moment, the meaning of years that have yet to unfold. I love that we have a season for that in our church year – a season for acknowledging that sometimes understanding comes in a sudden moment of intuition.
It is on Epiphany Sunday that we often retell the story of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Here it is in Matthew’s gospel:
13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)
Ever wonder why Jesus was baptized? Ever wonder if he needed to be baptized? If you’d like to read more, check out the Farm Church blog, where we’ve posted the "Snow Day Sermon" Ben would have preached this Sunday morning.
2. Be church in your home. Break bread with someone. Don’t worry, you don’t have to call it “Communion” if you don’t want to. Just remember that every time we share bread, we have a chance to remember Christ in our midst, calling us toward, life, salvation, wholeness, community…
3. Be church in your play! Nothing says, “Find something fun to do” like a forced snow day. So receive it as a gift. Work a puzzle, play a game, play hide-and-seek in your apartment… Have fun today and call it holy, because guess what? It is!
4. Be church in your rest. Most of us are overscheduled. So resist the temptation to use today to catch up with a pace that leaves you breathless most days. Receive the gift of rest today and practice it with gratitude!
5. Be church in your prayers and meditations. Pray for Farm Church, for Durham, for those who are food insecure in our community, for our state, our nation, our world… Pray for those who suffer because of poverty, discrimination, racism, neglect… Pray for individuals and communities who are standing up for what’s right. Pray for yourself, that you might be part of God’s answers to the prayers you make.
Here are some additional prayers for your consideration:
God of endless light, you sent a star—
rising from darkness,
guiding seekers and sages,
overwhelming us with joy.
Let the splendor of your dawning light
grow in us and in all the world
until the whole creation shines with your glory;
through Jesus Christ our light. Amen
God of light, shining in darkness,
through a little child, born in Bethlehem,
you open to us the treasure of your grace.
Help us to search diligently for him,
so that we may offer our lives to you
with thanksgiving, joy, and praise;
through Jesus Christ, the rising star. Amen
Shepherd of Israel,
you sent a star to enlighten the wise
and a child to topple the tyrant.
Make us wise enough to seek you
among the least of your children,
wise enough to trade our treasure
for the gift of overwhelming joy. Amen
Stay home this Sunday, friends, but don’t stay away from church. Because church is something we create and live into wherever we find ourselves. So have fun, be faith-filled, think, share, play, rest, and pray!
Ben and Allen