Time After Epiphany

I am often struck at this time of year with a feeling of hopefulness. The darkest of winter has passed, the sun feels warm as the days grow longer, all while our green paraments adorn the sanctuary as if testifying to the life that will soon emerge beyond the looming season of Lent. And with Easter coming so late this year, all of February will be dedicated to the season of Time after Epiphany, in which we continue to ponder the epiphanies that reveal Jesus to us and to our world.

These epiphanies energize us, I think, in our continual, restless pursuit of wholeness and healing that God is bringing to us and our world. Theologian W. Paul Jones, in his book Theological Worlds, talks about epiphanies as the revelations that speak to our deepest wonderings and longings in our life of faith. I wonder, then, what epiphany are you waiting to experience? What separation, what conflict, what emptiness or condemnation or suffering has not yet fully been address by God in your life? In our life? In all of human and created life?

How might these stories of our Lord reveal the way to new epiphanies in our world?

I doubt that we will reach a poignant conclusion before Lent begins on March 1st, but perhaps that’s not what this season of Time After Epiphany is about. Perhaps it is about continuing to press into the uncertainty of waiting for epiphanies, hoping that God will continue to be faithful on the journey ahead, no matter where it takes us.

Peace to you this February.

Pastor Paul

 

MtOliveSignWinterVisitors Expected

The sign outside of Mount Olive says, “Visitors Expected!” We mean this. We expect YOU, whether you are a new resident to Rochester, or you’ve been here for years, or you are just visiting. We have a completely accessible facility for physically-challenged folks. We are open and welcoming to people of all creeds, beliefs, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. We believe that God has called us to this ministry of hospitality and we welcome guests every weekend. Consider yourself invited.

We are also an unapologetically Lutheran community of faith. This means that our theology is centered in the life and death of Jesus Christ. This means that we are part of a long line of historic churches who celebrate infant baptism and weekly Holy Communion. This means that the Word of God is the norm and basis for our life together. We are also a part of one particular group of Lutherans – the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and through this group we are networked with thousands of other congregations, mission sites, social service agencies, and educational institutions that live out the faith of Jesus Christ in similar ways.

We would love to have you join us for worship on a weekend. Our communion table is open to all as God draws you. Please come and introduce yourself, stay for coffee and fellowship afterwards, and get to know us better. We believe Christ calls each person, of every age and situation, to some kind of ministry. We also believe that our lives are enriched when we do ministry together. YOU are welcome to explore YOUR calling in this community of God’s people.