Third Sunday after the Epiphany (January 21, 2018)
- First reading
- Jonah 3:1-5, 10
- Psalm 62:5-12
- Second reading
- 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
- Mark 1:14-20
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 | New Living Translation (NLT)
But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.
This Sunday will be the Third Sunday after Epiphany. The scriptures during this season reflect the mission of Jesus. Today’s scripture comes from Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. The first letter is one of Paul’s longer letters, but in the middle of the letter we find these instructions. In context, Paul is generally speaking about marriage in this part of the letter, but in doing so, he reminds us what is important. What is important, is that Jesus is coming again – that this world will soon fade away. As I read these words this morning, my prayer is that I would not be so focused on the things of this world. God has given us the beauty of this world. He has given us the beauty of marriage. God has freely given us the things that we have – the things that we can purchase – and these are all things that can be used to spread the gospel and build the Kingdom. But, we all know that it can be easy to lose our focus.
This morning in just these three short verses we are reminded that time is short. As I write, I am reminded of the song “Ground Zero” by Kerry Livgren. Below are the lyrics and following that is the song. Time is short – so very much remains to be done. Let’s be focused on that.
Days are short and time so dear. So very much remains to be done. It’s time to speak of one so near ‘Til all hearts have been won.
The wall is high beyond is much to find. A barrier we built so long ago. With fearful hope and a faith that is not blind. From clouds of joy we’ll see the depths below.
Across the sea and far away the eyes of all the world await the Passion Play. The final act at last begun; the new is born the old is bound to pass away.
No more the turn of the pages; and now the hope of the ages; for all the bondage is broken, all who see.
The oracles, the prophets of the past; the miracle of knowledge was revealed. The plan was laid upon a strong foundation. So long ago the future was sealed