Fourth Sunday after Epiphany: the presentation of Christ in the Temple

I am still on holiday, and this is the time when the traditional season of Christmas ended. Locally, it is the end of the Summer Holidays and the beginning of the really warm weather: January and December are often cool and damp, and the hay was baled after Christmas this year, when usually it is baled before. The drought and fires have continued in Australia,

So this is programmed, but that is no paritcular issue, and least for the gospel. IT is always current, and never changes. Today we need to consider how our frailty weakens us, and God bless the Irish Church for keeping the old prayers up.

The Collect (Church of Ireland)
O God,
who knowest us to be set
in the midst of so many and great dangers,
that by reason of the frailty of our nature
we cannot always stand upright;
Grant to us such strength and protection,
as may support us in all dangers,
and carry us through all temptations;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

But also how our fraility glorifies God. Not many of the faith are accounted by this world as among the great and good. The gospel is seen as the opiate of the mases, keeping them from the formetning of a good Jaocbean, bloody revolution (John Wesley should take some credit for that, as should the Welsh Revival). Or we are seen as not woke, not intersectional.

Stale, pale… to be swept away, even if we are Black, Samoan, or Indian [1]. But the gospel is a stumbling block to those who want power, and foolishness to the scholars. As if something has to ebonbscure to be correct.

In my experience, truths can be expressed simply.

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him[c] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

And, yes I repeat songs, but this is apropos for this day. Let us worship GOd.

1. The CHinese do not get many oppression points despite historical discrimination: neeither do the Indian Hindus and Sikhs.