Sometimes the Church is More the Tomb for Jesus' Dead Body than the Alive Body of Christ

The logic of the church year is something that I think escapes many Christians, and I can't help but believe that if the followers of Christ would better internalize the meaning and symbolism of the seasons of the church, their faith would deepen immensely.

Such a move would probably run the morning devotional business out of business, and perhaps the Christian landscape would be better for it.

Sometimes I wonder...

But we're nearing the end of the season between Epiphany and Lent, normally called "Time after Epiphany" or "Ordinary Time," and the scripture readings these past Sunday mornings have all been inviting us to ask the same question: "Who is Jesus?"

The Sunday that kicks off this "time between times" is the Sunday of Jesus baptism by John in the Jordan where it is revealed that Jesus is God's beloved messiah. And immediately after that revelation, Jesus runs into the wilderness, into the desert, wrestling with just what kind of Messiah he's going to be.

Will he be a domineering, oppressive Messiah who joins hands with evil? Or would he be God's Messiah who gives up his power for the sake of others?

And every Sunday after that baptism we get a story of Jesus calling people around him, a miracle story where everyone is astonished, an exorcism where the crowds scratch their heads and wonder who this new teacher is and what this new teaching (with authority) means, or a healing story where dying people are made well and restored to wholeness.

For six, seven, and sometimes eight weeks the church mulls this question over in their collective minds along with everyone else in the story: who is this Jesus guy, who can do all of these things?

And then, on the last Sunday of the season (this coming Sunday), we arrive at the Transfiguration, where we get a definitive answer to this question we've been asking over and over again.

And the whole scene happens on top of a mountain, that place where God has throughout scripture been revealed (think of Sinai and Moses), which is an indication to the reader/hearer that they should pay attention because something cool is going to happen.

Wait. Let me back up. Read it first by clicking here. Then we can continue.

Sunday's Readings
2 Kings 2:1-12
Psalm 50:1-6
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Mark 9:2-9

This Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday.

This Sunday is the deadline to sign up for Rams Hockey Outing (February 16) and Kure Beach Service Retreat (March 23-25). Sign up on The City or email

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper - Tuesday, February 13, 5:30 - 7:00 pm in Fellowship Hall Come and enjoy a pancake supper hosted by the GSLC Youth! Freewill offering will support the youth attending the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston.

Ash Wednesday Services & Imposition of Ashes - Wednesday, February 14, 12:15 & 7:00 pm  

Tired Souls: The Montgomery Bus Boycott - A Special Theatrical Production -  Sunday, February 18, 2:00-5:00 pm at Church of the Nativity (8849 Ray Road) This program's focus is on racial justice and reconciliation, and includes performance by award-winning playwright Mike Wiley followed by a workshop focused on contemporary racial justice issues. Appropriate for all ages. Learn more and RSVP at (case sensitive). Contact Monica Lavery through the City or at for details or to join a carpool.

More information about upcoming events is available in  this week's bulletin announcements .

The February edition of the Shepherd's Voice is available online.
Health and Healing for Nicole Barefoot; and Melanie Carden, friend of the Eaton family.

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including Happiness Chipa and Komborerai Moyo.

Happiness, turning 19 in a few months, is a quiet, petite young lady. She is taking Form 5 classes at Mnene Secondary School. She works hard, encouraged to do her best because of the positive example of her two older siblings, also in the GSLC support program. She visited with our 2017 mission team. Her Mail For Mnene partner is Sue Ragone.

Kombo, 14, is taking Form 3 classes at Msume Secondary School. He struggles with his school subjects but continues to try to do his best. He visited with our 2017 mission team. He is very grateful for the love and support he receives from the Good Shepherd community! His Mail For Mnene partner is Paul Lester.

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