The Collect of the Season & Reflection

Blessing for Epiphany 2024

May Christ, the Son of God, be manifest in you, that your lives may be a light to the world.

- from THE BOOK OF OCCASIONAL SERVICES, The Episcopal Church

Vicar's Voice - 3rd Epiphany 2024

Almighty Father, who inspired Simon Peter, first among the apostles, to confess Jesus as Messiah and Son of the living God: Keep your Church steadfast upon the rock of this faith, so that in unity and peace we may proclaim the one truth and follow the one Lord, our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

- Collect for the Confession of Saint Peter, BCP

One of the great things about having a weekday Eucharist (like we have each Thursday at 12:05 p.m. at St. John's/Grace in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd) is the chance to commemorate inspiring saints and "regular folk" who have carried the torch of faith in their times. In the weeks to come we will remember Brigid of Kildare, Thomas Bray, Margaret of Cortona, and Thomas Ken - unfamiliar with their names? Join us, and learn more about their testimonies and be inspired by their strength.

This week's commemoration coincided with the Major Feast Day of the Confession of Saint Peter. Simon Peter has been much celebrated and maligned, and his representation by the actor Shahar Isaac who plays him on the television series, THE CHOSEN, has made him a much more sympathetic rogue than even the Gospels have depicted. The highlights of Peter's life included sinking when he tried to walk on water, arrogantly wanting to build tabernacles and stay on the mountain of the Transfiguration, engendering Jesus' wrath and being called "Satan" by him, and denying that he was a follower of Jesus during Christ's trial.

Yet somehow, through all of these less-than-exemplary moments, Peter's faith sustained him with enough faith that he would be the first to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah and Son of the Living God. He was sometimes confused, misled, and sometimes disconnected. And yet, somehow, God still chose him to do God's work in the world.

While we may be disappointed in ourselves and others when faith seems thin and actions speak against our beliefs, we should always remember that God has created us to boldly confess our faith in Jesus as our Messiah, our Christ, our Redeemer, our Salvation. Even when the world seems chaotic and dark (and honestly, when hasn't the world seemed chaotic and dark), when we own and proclaim our faith, we both encourage order and shine light.

May we, like Peter, overcome our failings and affirm that Jesus is "the Messiah and Son of the living God."

Peace in Christ,

Father Shawn