Second Sunday After Epiphany, Year A in 2020: Epistle Passage – Knowing who the Messiah and being a faithful servant

[From] “Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,                                                                         and our brother Sosthenes,
To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 1:1 – 3)

I could wish to address you, beloved reader, in the same way. Well, not the same way as Paul did, and only from me. But nonetheless, I greet those who read what I post – from what ever the source that you read it or that it comes to you.

Yesterday I ‘gave forth’ on my periodic and mild but ongoing diatribe against commentators as pertaining to some passages. If, beloved reader, my writings yesterday jostled your exegetical world, I am sorry.

Often in the midst of such written back-and-forths I will research the topic and allow it to modify my stance. And think back on it, reviewing in my mind my position and the commentators. After doing that, where I came out at is . . . . recognizing Jesus Christ, the Lord God, the Divine, and the Holy Presence can be a challenging thing. Prophecy, by its very definition, looks ahead to where things may not be clear and attempts to put clarity to it while filling in the details. Sometimes prophecy is accurate; but more often it is incorrect. At times it and depending on the need & purpose of the prophecy, the incorrect portions are overlooked or smoothed over so that the prophecy can stand as a connection between the ‘then’ and ‘now’. That seems to happen a lot in the bible. Humanity loves connections and a feeling that what was said in time past is pertinent and informative to our ‘now’. And that we are not alone in our beliefs.

“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Verses 4 – 7)

Do you remember back to King Herod and the three Wise Men? That Herod had the scribes and religious leaders scour religious writings and prophecies to try to discern where the infant Jesus might be have been born? Jesus was there, but his human father Joseph hurried his family away to Egypt and thereby fulfilling another prophecy that God would call the God-self’s Son out of Egypt.

If one had access to all of the religious writings and prophecies that abounded, would it have been possible to recognize Jesus as the Messiah? Here is another thought – do you think Saul who become Paul has access to those writings and prophecies? He is said to have been an Old Testament scholar who made his living as a tent maker. And yet it took a Divine encounter on the road to Damascus for his mind to be opened.

Some come to faith by slow dawning awareness of the Divine. Others need a push, a prphecy, or a revelation to realize the Deity who is the Author of the universe. In the end it does not matter how we have come to faith, but that we have come. Because our future depends on it!

“He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Verses 8 – 9)

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