On this Thursday after Epiphany, we hear from Paul’s letter to the Church is Colossae:
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow-servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col. 1:1-14).
A new survey by Yahoo! Finance shows Americans have a disturbing lack of hope. Among the highlights of the poll: (1) 41% of Americans say the “American Dream’” has been lost; 63% of Americans believe the economy is getting worse, including 72% of those over the age of 55. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll, fears of terrorism in the United States are at a level not seen since September 11, 2001. Americans were surveyed in the wake of attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. The survey found that about 79% of respondents believe a terrorist attack is somewhat likely or very likely in the next few months.
How many of us can relate to these findings? How many of us feel a sense of hopelessness? How many of us feel a sense of anxiety?
It is the season of the Epiphany, the manifestation of Christ to the world; it is a season of light in darkness. Paul tells us that God “has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” We need to be reminded of that daily. God is bigger than our fears. God conquers of anxiety. God has, through Jesus Christ, brought light into the darkness, a light that the darkness cannot overcome.
Let us pray: O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Annual Parish Meeting on Sunday, 17 January 2016 after the Eucharist.
Seaside Seniors meet Thursday, 21 January 2016.
We resume our Adult Christian Education series on C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity this Sunday at 11 AM.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550