Notes on the Service...
...for January 25, 2015, the Third Sunday after the Epiphany Conversion of Paul
Jon 3:1-5, 10; Ps 62;6-14;I Cor 7:29-31; Mk1:14-20
The 20th century collect prays that we may answer the call readily and preach. Answering the call and preaching is the topic every January 25, the day when the calendar commemorates the call of Saul the persecutor of Christians to convert and become Paul, a preacher of the Good News. This year, that feast is pre-empted by the Sunday, except in churches named St. Paul. Whichever set of readings is used, still the topic is answering the call and preaching.
Last Sunday's reading from the Hebrew Bible was the call of Samuel; to-day's is the call of Jonah; next Sunday's predicts a Moses-like prophet whom God will call.
II Kings mentions an 8th century B.C. Galilean prophet named Jonah. The figure of Jonah was used about 4 centuries later as the central character in a book of episodes from his life. In chap 1, God calls Jonah, and refusing, he flees, ending in a fish's belly; chap 2 is Jonah's psalm from the fish's belly; chap 3, today's reading, tells the story of a second calling, this time to preach to Nineveh, in modern-day Iraq. Jonah accepts readily that call and at his word, Nineveh's pagan populace repents. That pagans repent and obey the Jewish God is the author's point, made in opposition to Jewish xenophobia current at the time of the book's compilation.
Psalm 62 is a calm, eloquent statement of confidence. God is his sole hope, reflects the psalmist, and he urges others also to put their trust in God. Like Ecclesiastes, this Psalm says human power is futile, v 11, "altogether lighter than vanity itself." One might imagine the disciples in today's Gospel as they left their livelihoods thinking, "though wealth increase set not your heart upon it," v 12.
In its serial selections from I Corinthians, the lectionary today lifts from Paul's discussion of marriage his advice to converts that rather than seek to change their status, either single or coupled, they detach themselves from all their earthly circumstances, in view of his expectation that Christ was to return promptly.
A like sense of urgency characterizes the unhesitating response of the first apostles as they leave their normal lives. Jesus is like a latter-day Jonah calling not Gentiles but fellow-Galileans to repent. Fishermen, they are promised a bigger catch. John's version of this story which we read last Sunday, says the first called were Andrew, John, Peter, Philip and Nathaniel. Mark says the first were Andrew, Peter, James, and John.
- Noonday Prayer will not be held at Redeemer this Thursday, for Steve Weissman will be away.
- A Hard-to-Recycle Collection will be held in West Asheville on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 10 AM to 2 PM at Aaron's Rent to Own parking lot, 1298 Patton Ave. They will accept appliances, books, batteries, computers, Styrofoam, cell phones, and many other items difficult to recycle. For details, see the poster in the parish hall.
- The Feast of the Confession of St. Peter is normally January 18th, to commemorate Peter's figuring out that Jesus was the messiah. This year the observance has been transferred to weekday because of its having fallen on a Sunday. The week of Prayer for Christian Unity runs from Jan. 18 through Jan. 26 every year.
- The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, marking his change of heard from persecuter of Christians to their proponant, his turn-around on the Damascus Road, in most years is observed on the 25th of January. Since that falls on a Sunday, this year, the feast will be transferred to a weekday, January 26th. This feast will close the week of prayer for Christian Unity.
- Bulletin Ministry: Please let Maryann Presnell or the Vestry know if you feel led to take over the Bulletin Ministry.
- PhoneTree Ministry: Please let the Bill Smith or the Vestry know if you feel led to take over the Phone Tree Ministry.
- Sunday, Jan. 25 – Vestry meeting at 12:00 in Rector’s office.
- Wednesday, Feb. 11 – Daughters of the King meeting at 6:00.
- Saturday, Feb. 14 – ECW Valentine Tea at the home of Carolyn Pigeon at 10:30. All women of the church are invited to attend. Directions to Carolyn’s home will be available in the parish hall.
- Saturday, Feb. 21 – Bible Study meets at 10:00 in the lower office of the parish hall. We are studying the book of Mark. All are invited to attend. Contact Jeremy Morris for more information.
If you would like to become a member of the Prayer Chain please talk to Diane Jackson.
This Week's Schedule:
|Sunday|| 8:15 AM
Choir Practice in the Church
|Monday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
|Tuesday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
|Wednesday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
|Thursday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|