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Risky Business
February 12, 2023, 1:00 AM

Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Time after time we are called through the scriptures to leave behind familiar and predictable ways of life, risking a journey into the unknown and unknowable. Risks often have a very big and exciting “upside” which is matched by an equally steep and daunting “downside.” Many good and faithful people have a healthy fear of risk, but taking a risk with God is a very different venture. If God’s call to follow is risky, and we succeed, we can experience God’s presence and promise in profound new ways. However, if we follow God’s call to risk and it seems to fail, then we are still following in the footsteps of the one who formed us, loves us, and calls us by name.

In Deuteronomy, Moses had taken a risk and led Israel out of slavery and toward the Promised Land. He encourages the people to continue to risk by choosing life in God as opposed to the lures of life without him. Paul risked his life time and time again in order share the gospel, and he is encouraging the people of the Corinth to risk walking a different route in Christ. In today’s gospel we hear Jesus offer tough teachings which may seem risky to preachers everywhere! These readings all seem to be filled with tough, risky teachings, but dig a little deeper and we can experience the grace-filled message of hope and new life rooted in God’s love. We can clearly hear a call to risk, but also the promise of God’s steadfast presence to be with all who faithfully follow, no matter the outcome. So take a deep breath, dare to risk, crack open the “tough exterior” and experience the love and grace of these texts.