The scripture today indicates how Jesus moved from his hometown in Nazareth to the fishing village of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee. It is here on the lakeshore that Jesus recruits his first disciples: Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John. From this humble beginning, Jesus and his disciples began their ministry. As Jesus' fame spread throughout the region, the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled: "the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light". Christ's light continues to illuminate our darkness today.
Lamb of God, Son of God, Rabbi, and Messiah are the names used in this scripture to reveal who Jesus was. The first disciples were also named, and Jesus changed Simon's name. How important are names? Do they do more than hold meaning and power?
On this Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. We remember Jesus' own baptism by John in the Jordan River, marking the beginning of his public ministry. We also reflect upon the Sacrament of Baptism and its meaning in our own lives. Baptism is a symbol of new birth in Jesus Christ and initiates us as members of Christ body, the universal Church. Therefore, we will remember our own baptism and reaffirm our own faith.
On this Sunday we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. Epiphany is officially January 6th, marking the culmination of the Christmas season. It celebrates the coming of the wise men who brought three gifts to the Christ child: gold, frankincense, & myrrh. Epiphany represents the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles and therefore the entire world. We begin the New Year with hope as Christ guides us into the future.
Christmas Eve Traditional Service
Foothills UMC's Christmas Day Worship
Joseph learns that Mary is pregnant and considers divorcing her. But he has a dream in which an angel tells him that she will give birth to the Messiah. "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’ which means, ‘God is with us.’(Matt 1:23). Joseph moves beyond his fear and awaits the arrival of the Son of God.
Wolcum! to Foothills UMC's 2022 Christmas concert featuring our Chancel Choir, Witness, Harmony Ringers, FUMY (Foothills United Methodist Youth), and You!
This scripture begins with a question from John if Jesus is the Messiah they have been waiting for or not. “Go and tell John what you hear and see,' Jesus replied. "The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with a skin disease are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them." (Matt 11:4-5) The Messiah brings good news and joy for those in need of his love.
Today's scripture is the preaching of John the Baptist in the desert to those seeking the Messiah. "Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight," he cries out. We reflect upon the need to change our ways and seek God's peace in the world.