Sermon by The Rev. Brett P. Backus
“What are we doing here?”
Sunday, January 7, 2018
“Baptists say it by teaching a personal relationship with Jesus. Pentecostals say it by teaching living with the Holy Spirit. Catholics say it by teaching God’s real presence in the form of the Church and in the sacrament of Communion. Episcopalians say it by doing our best at somehow teaching a hodge podge balance of all of this. Our own Presiding Bishop says it by teaching the Jesus Movement. Russell Brand, much like Richard Rohr, says it by teaching an all present Christ consciousness. We are all saying it, and yet, at the same time, somehow it seems, at least for the majority of us who are looking out from within the Church structure, the church belief system, the church walls, our routines and our church politics and drama, somehow we are all also missing the point. Missing Epiphany and Missing the Christ.” From The Rev. Brett P. Backus’ sermon on Sunday, January 7, 2018.
The Gospel: Mark 1:4-11
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”