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Living "Words with Friends"


January 2022

Playgrounds still resound with “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But those words ring hollow. As adults, and as children, we know only too well the power of words to do harm. In contrast, the scriptures for today point us to the word that bears hope, promise, and life. Human words can hurt or fail, but now we hear this holy word of wisdom, challenge, instruction, and hope that really does form us in God’s promise. Rather than words that tear down, we are invited by the prophets and Jesus into God’s living words with and among friends. Jesus, in coming home and attending the synagogue, reads from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus announces good news to those struggling economically on the fringes of society, hope to those who are imprisoned, healing to those without sight, a lifting of the burden from those who are weighed down or oppressed, and even the in-breaking of a holy year of favor. Standing in a tradition of prophets and priests who speak, engage, and teach God’s word, Jesus now offers one thing more—fulfillment. The words of those who dream and hope, who work for justice and mercy on behalf of God, are now true. Today as we look around and see people spending time speaking, reading, and even playing games with words, this is an opportunity to ground ourselves in the one full Word that bears life. This word counters sticks and stones and all that oppresses; Jesus address announces God’s liberating actions. This Word sounds promise to all who hear; it is an invitation to see God at work among God’s people.

Called to Domestic Disturbance


Jesus reads from the scriptures and is the talk of the town. At first, Jesus is seen as the hometown boy made good. Then something changes. Is it the mention of Jesus being the son of a local carpenter, Joseph? Does Jesus sense that people are proud of his learning but less eager to engage in his teachings? Is it that people’s expectations are raised—but now Jesus tells them that “no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown”? Jesus angers the crowd and is driven to a cliff and probable death. What does it mean for this hometown boy to create a domestic, and more to the point, a holy disturbance? God’s vision is certainly a challenge, and now Jesus, with the words of the prophets, is unleashing a disturbance in the domestic, tamed, controlled ways of the world and its powers. In the first lesson for today, Jeremiah recognizes the challenge of speaking a prophetic word and questions whether he is too young to take on God’s commission. Jesus steps into his role and finds challenge among his home community and those who have known him his whole life. In a strange twist, Jesus walks through this challenging crowd to safety.

Today, echoing Jeremiah and the psalmist, we sense a call or mission, even in the midst of dangers or among those who would do harm. Jesus and Jeremiah become key illustrations and open conversation of how we are formed, equipped, and called to live God’s agape love, even when surrounded by challenges, obstacles, or hostility. Where is God calling us? How must we confront our own or the community’s barriers? What prophetic word are we being called to speak that might cause a holy disturbance?

.©2022 Augsburg Fortress, Sundays and Seasons. All rights reserved. used with permission.

Contact Information  
Messiah Lutheran Church
2691 NE Pine Island Rd
Cape Coral, Florida 33909
Phone 239.995.0133
Fax 239.314.3082
Mobile 239.217.6227
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Sip 'N' Munch

Wednesday—January 12, 2022
First Round Draft
1217 DelPrado Blvd, S.
Cape Coral FL 33990

 

Wednesday—January 19, 2022
Big Storm Brewery
4721 SE 10th Place
Cape Coral FL 33904

 

Wednesday—January 26, 2022
Duffy’s Sports Grill
627 Cape Coral Pkwy, W
Cape Coral FL 33914

 

Wednesday—February 2, 2022
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To Be Determined
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