This year we enjoy a longer stretch of the “Season after the Epiphany” prior to the beginning of Lent (March 5th-Ash Wednesday). This time of the liturgical year is one in which Jesus manifests himself as God. The lessons for these appointed Sundays offer us the opportunity to reflect on our Baptism and rededicate ourselves to the ministry of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. Discipleship is the theme found in many of the lessons this time of year.
One of the familiar hymns speaking to us of our call to become disciples of Christ is found at the top of this page “Jesus calls us, o’er the tumult”. The hymn was written by Cecil Frances Alexander. Ms. Alexander was a remarkable woman. As a young adult she, along with her sister, operated a school for the deaf, and she also published a highly successful book of hymns for children. She married William Alexander, an Anglican clergyman who later became the Anglican Archbishop for all Ireland. At her husband’s request, she wrote a hymn based on the call of Simon, Andrew, James and John (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-18) for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany.
The sea mentioned in the hymn is the Sea of Galilee from which Jesus called the disciples. Yet, this hymn isn’t simply about the calling of the disciples, it is also about Jesus calling us to follow Him. Verse 2 reads: Jesus calls us from the worship of the vain world’s golden store, from each idol that would keep us, Saying “Christian, love Me more!”
Think of it this way, the season after the Epiphany isn’t simply about the manifestation (the revealing) of Jesus as the Son of God; it’s also about God manifesting Himself in us—as those who are called by Jesus to be fishers of people. Each day presents us with a fresh opportunity to follow Jesus, to be disciples of our Lord, and show forth God’s glory with our lives. By word and action each day we tell others about what we believe. Challenge yourself throughout the remainder of this season to review the end of each day by asking yourself this question: How did I witness my faith throughout this day?
I’ll see you in church!