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Grow A Little!

They saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage
Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,10-13; Ephesians 3:2-3,5-6; Matthew 2:1-12

Sermon Week The Epiphany of the Lord Cycle C

Scripture Summary Matthew 2:11

On the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation, a man decided to visit his alma mater, a small liberal arts college. This man, a physician, had done many different things over the years. He had been a surgeon in a large hospital. He had been decorated as a military hero in World War II. He was a respected historian; an expert gardener; an accomplished bicyclist; a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. During his visit to the school, the old graduate was interviewed by a student reporter who asked, "What is the most important thing you learned in college?" Without hesitation, he replied, "How to go on learning for the rest of my life!"

For some people, the world is ever fresh and new: there is always some new direction for life. But that zest for life is not always easy to maintain. It is especially then that we should listen carefully to the Words of Lord:

"I shall give you a new heart, and place a new spirit in you," says the Lord (Ez. 36:26).

"This cup is the new covenant in My blood," Jesus says to His disciples (1 Cor. 11:25).

"Now I am making the whole of creation new" the Lord promises us (Rev. 21:5).

The problem is, many of us just keep on singing our old songs; we keep traveling down the old path. We greet the promise of new life with cynicism and suspicion. We don't trust it enough for it to make a difference in our understanding of who we are and what we ought to be doing with our lives. Consequently, in Biblical language, our "hardness of heart" closes off the possibility of stretching our souls, enlarging our vision, changing our ways. We resist this kind of expansion like so many old wineskins, as Jesus told His detractors again and again.

When the poet, Longfellow, was well along in years, his hair was white as snow, but his cheeks were rosy red. A friend asked him how he managed to sustain his vigor and his zest for life, and how he was able to keep on [...]

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