The Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany: SALT AND LIGHT

A Sermon by Pastor Chico Martin

February 5, 2017

Lections: Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 112; 1 Corinthians 2:1-12; Matthew 5:13:20


Today we hear a clear message:  the Lord rescues us from death.

He hears our cry, and he brings hope to those in need.

He prospers us and defends us.

And in return, we respond to God:we rejoice, and we gladly praise and adore him.

We listen for his call in our heart, for he has made us in his image:

he who was salt and light has made us salt and light.

Indeed, we are blessed.


Let us then, in the word we hear today, trust God’s blessings,

by discovering how they are found in his promise;

for the promise of God is trustworthy,

and by his promise, we are saved from death.

We will be free.   Continue reading

The Third Sunday After the Epiphany: THE GATHERING OF DISCIPLES, Pt 2


A Sermon by Pastor Chico Martin

January 22, 2017

Lections Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23


Today’s Gospel switches over from John’s account, which we heard last week, to Matthew’s earlier narrative of Jesus’ public ministry.  This shift gives us another perspective on “the gathering of disciples,” and fills out our understanding of Christian vocation.

Matthew identifies two of the first disciples, Andrew and Simon Peter, as fishermen, and records a slightly different version of the call of Jesus we heard last week.  In John, Jesus says, “Come, and you will see.” In Matthew, he says, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for men.” Matthew puts more emphasis on the active intention informing the call than does John, who isolates the splendor of a more contemplative devotion.  Matthew is focusing on the Kingdom of Heaven, which Jesus inaugurates, and the paths which will lead to the founding of a Messianic Community that takes its place amongst the kingdoms of the world. The arrival of the light  of this Kingdom – the Great Light of Galilee – brings hope and gladness to all those who live “in the land of the shadow of death.”   Continue reading