Fourth Sunday after Epiphany (Year C)
Scripture Readings*: Jeremiah 1:4-10, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Luke 4:21-30, Psalm 71:1-6 (NRSV)
When Jeremiah heard the call of God, he saw the wickedness around him and the weakness within him. When he saw his inadequacy – like us – he concluded: “I’m not cut out for this job.” Despite his objections (“I am only a boy”), the foreknowledge of Lord had anticipated his objection.
Just as Jeremiah had been brought to this hour for this purpose, God has a purpose for our life.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
The context in which Paul writes this “love chapter” is centered in the strife and conflict surrounding the questions of spiritual gifts. His focus is to point his audience’s attention to the reality that gifts without graces are nothing! As wonderful as miraculous gifts are… the fruit of the Spirit is more important.
It was customary in synagogue settings to ask visiting rabbis to read the Scripture lesson and make appropriate comments pertaining to the Scripture. The popularity of Jesus had grown, so it was natural that the synagogue leader asked Him to read the appointed lesson for the day.
What was startling was that Jesus pronounced that the Scriptures were fulfilled in Him; that He would minister to needy people and bring the salvation of the Lord. This enraged those who heard him. They desired to kill him.
Yes You Can!
I’m worthless. I don’t have the proper education or training. I’m too young… too old. No one thinks I’m capable – neither do I. If you’ve ever thought or said something similar, today’s readings are for you!
In his own power, young Jeremiah didn’t know what or how to say what God commanded. None of us can bear all things, believe all things, hope in all things, endure all things in our own strength. Even Jesus was misunderstood and mistreated, met with rage and disbelief. That’s the point of today’s readings.
When God reveals himself to us, He also makes known His strength, wisdom, and grace in us. He gives us His words to speak, His love to demonstrate, His compassion for those around us. With God – and in God – all things are possible!
Prayer for Fourth Sunday after Epiphany – “Almighty God, in mercy you rule all things in heaven and earth. Through Jesus Christ, reign over my life, making His peace and presence known. Blessed be God forever. Amen.”