Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29–31 Paul does not disapprove of marriage or other human social institutions. He does, however, want Christians to live in the present in fervent anticipation of God’s future, which even now has dawned through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Gospel: Mark 1:14–20 Before Jesus calls his first disciples, he proclaims a message that becomes known as “the gospel” or good news from God. God is ready to rule our lives. Those who realize this will respond with repentance and faith.
Did you ever play the game Telephone? How crazy it is to pass a message and hope that it will get to others with the same content. Perhaps that is why being called by God is something we must find and hear for ourselves. It must be our own sense or hearing of God’s call. Yet other people can be helpful in clarifying our sense of call, because we too can sometimes hear what we want to hear (or should I say, not hear what we do not want to hear). But in the end, it is we who must hear and answer our own sense of being called.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:12–20 Paul is helping the Corinthians understand that God has claimed the entirety of their lives through the death of Christ. Hence Christian relationships and conduct, including areas of human sexuality, are to reflect the reality that we belong to Christ and that the Holy Spirit lives within us.
Gospel: John 1:43–51 In John’s gospel, Jesus’ ministry begins with the call of disciples, who then bring others to Jesus. Philip’s friend Nathanael moves from skepticism to faith when he accepts the invitation to “Come and see.”
Pilate said to Jesus, “‘What is truth?’ With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, ‘I find no basis for a charge against him.’” (John 18:38) There is a lot of rhetoric about truth these days. There are those who will say that truth is objective and knowable, that it is rational. Others will say that truth is personal and how each of us bestows value. Perhaps there is no objective truth that resides in the hands and hearts of humanity for we all shape the world we see through our own skewed perceptions. But perhaps from God’s point of view there is truth that is more objective. If there is any hope of humanity gaining or gleaning this reality, it will be because God makes it known. It will be found by those willing to receive it and not by those who wish to take the hill first and define it. This is the curious calamity in humanity’s search for truth.
Message for the day: “Truth and the Ambiguity of Living”
…from Worship at Good Sam on January 11th, “Baptism of Our Lord.”
Gospel: Mark 1:4–11 Mark’s gospel reports the story of Jesus’ baptism with some irony: the one on whom the Spirit descends is himself the one who will baptize others with the Holy Spirit.
Water is an integral part of baptism. It helps shape the experience, much like being trapped by the Red Sea was a critical part of the experience of the Israelites leaving Egypt. But the sea itself has no power or particular nature that makes the miracle of crossing the sea on dry ground happen. What makes this miracle effective is God’s presence and intention to bring God’s people out of Egypt. So it is with the waters of baptism. It is not the holiness or amount of the water, or impressiveness of the dunking. The power and effectiveness of this sacrament has always been in the presence and purpose of God. Discovering the gift of these promises is a lifelong journey where the miracles of baptism are discovered. Thanks to God.
“Water, Promise, Presence – Immerse Yourself”
The New Mocha Morning Bible Study has begun! We are meeting at Martha R.’s house on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at 9:30 am. Our next meeting is February 4 when we’ll begin studying the book of Ruth using Premium Roast with Ruth by Sandra Glahn. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Martha.
Join us Sunday, January 25 at 10:30 am for some “coffee and conversation” about the WARM ministry. This is an opportunity to find out more about the ministry and the various opportunities to serve during Good Sam’s host week of February 15-22. We will have a conversation about the different volunteer positions and what they entail. (Click to read more about the WARM ministry.)
Even if you are not available to serve during the week, support is needed in other areas such as prayer, food and toiletry donations, and help with set-up and laundry. Please consider staying after church and finding out more about serving our homeless brothers and sisters. God calls us to serve the poor and homeless (Leviticus 25:35-36, Isaiah 58:7, Luke 14:13-14).
As the church office prepares to update the Good Sam directory, we ask that you submit any changes to your contact information that have happened since October. This includes:
- home address
- any phone numbers for you and for others in your household
- any email addresses for you and for others in your household
You can write any information on a yellow Welcome card and put it in the offering plate, leave a note in the office, or email the office (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you! Once the directory is fully updated, it will be sent via email.
The WARM season began in November and our week to host will be here before you know it! WARM (Wrapping Arms aRound Many) is a ministry involving dozens of churches in the area. Churches host or assist a host site in housing the homeless in our community who have nowhere to go during the cold winter nights. Guests arrive at the host site around 5:30 pm, where they are provided a hot meal, a cot for the evening, and some time to freshen up, play games, read, etc. In the morning they are provided with breakfast prior to leaving for the day at 7 am.
Not only do we need volunteers to serve as monitors, we also need donations of food items and personal supplies. There will be a complete list of volunteer opportunities as well as suggested donation items listed on a bulletin board in the fellowship hall. If you would like more information on how to participate, look for the WARM bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall. Questions can be directed to Gail W., Good Sam’s WARM Coordinator.
For more information about WARM, please visit its Facebook page and see these news pieces from prior years:
- Volunteers help WARM winter nights for homeless in St. Mary’s (Jan. 31, 2014)
- Churches help warm homeless in St. Mary’s (Jan. 4, 2013)
- WARM gears up for third cold season in St. Mary’s (Sept. 16, 2011)
- St. Mary’s County churches band together to shelter homeless (Nov. 1, 2009 – The Washington Post)
CareNet Pregnancy Center of Southern Maryland announces their Annual Benefit Dinner with Dr. Marc Newman of Speaker for Life. All are invited to the event on Thursday, March 26, 2015, 6:30 pm at the Hollywood Firehouse Social Hall.