The Epistle reading today is taken from the opening of the first letter of John:
We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 Jn. 1:1-10).
The opening of the epistle is just as powerful as the opening of the Gospel according to John. Whereas in the opening of his account of the Good News John tells us that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, in the opening of his letter, John tells us that God is light and in God there is no darkness at all. John acknowledges that we are all sinners and that we cannot lie to ourselves about that. Once we acknowledge our sinfulness, we can be open to the great mercy of God who forgives our sins in the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, who dwells in endless light.
Let us pray: Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Seaside Seniors will celebrate St. Valentine’s Day on Thursday, 20 February starting at 11 A.M. The children, under Lee Runion’s guidance (and maybe the help of some adults), are making the centerpieces.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Pat, Frances, Carol, Xavier, Patricia and Karen.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550