Every October, we focus on our discipleship, on being followers of Jesus, during our worship services. Even though we emphasize that during October, this is a theme of our lives – particularly during the “green” seasons of the church year. Just as green, living, and growing plants sprout from the ground in the early spring, our faith, our relationship with God, and our lives as disciples of Jesus grow during these times of the year.
The season after Epiphany is a strange season in that we alternate between two colors, depending on the readings for that day. The beginning and ending Sundays of this season are white, where we hear the stories of the Magi arriving to greet Jesus on Epiphany, the story of Jesus being baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist, and the story of Jesus being transfigured on the mountain top, surrounded by some of his disciples along with Moses and Elijah. Because these Sundays are white, we remember the stories from the other “white” Sundays of the year – Christ the King Sunday, Christmas, and Easter. These Sundays are where the main points of our statement of faith come from — that God came to dwell among us, was revealed to all nations, fulfilled prophecies, died and rose for the sake of the world, and reigns forever at God’s right hand.
But these “green” Sundays after Epiphany are where the teaching happens. These Sundays are where Jesus takes our way of understanding justice and mercy and pushes us to live for God’s ways of justice and mercy. These are the Sundays when we are called to be people of compassion, to forgive our neighbors, to speak to one another respectfully, to not let ourselves be consumed by our anger. Jesus says early on in his Sermon on the Mount that we are the salt and light of the earth. Through our words and actions, we are the ones God uses to bring out the true flavor of the things of the world; we are the ones God uses to bring the power of the light into the creeping darkness.
In a few weeks, on Transfiguration Sunday, we will leave behind these “green” Sundays to remember other stories of our faith during Lent and Easter. But they will return this summer, where we will again be pushed and stretched to grow in our faith and into a deeper relationship with our God who is always teaching us how to be salt and light in our world.
Peace & Blessings,