Sermon: Born to Be a Light

homrich-9

Trial for the Homrich 9. Activists blocked trucks from turning off Detroiters’ water.

By Bill Wylie-Kellermann, Saint Peter’s Episcopal Detroit, Epiphany 2, January 15, 2017

Isaiah 49:1-7
Psalm 40:1-11
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
John 1:29-42

Our readings for today echo those of last week. Again we have reference to John, to the baptism of Jesus, the dove alighting upon him, AND again beside it a Servant song from Isaiah.

There is a striking commonality of Second Isaiah and John: both have central figures whose identity is hard to pin down. In the gospel of John it is the “beloved disciple,” identified only by that name. Is this a cipher for John himself, for his beloved community? Is there an historical referent? Even another character in the story? Or is this a narrative figure with which we, as readers, may identify, a call to discipleship by another name? Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Dove Descending

dsc_1465-lowresBy Ted Lyddon Hatten

John 1:29-42

John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove.

Doves/pigeons (they are the same, like canine/dog) hold a central place in our most sacred stories. From Noah’s ark to burnt offerings, these birds are easy to see if you have eyes that see.

Pigeons are easy to see in most major cities and have a reputation for being unclean. But for the poor, the outcast, and women of the ancient world, doves were the only way to be made clean. Pigeons purchased for pocket change were beheaded and burned by the Temple priests. Continue reading