Sermons by “The Rev. Della Wager Wells”
This is the week! We will gather on Sunday after the 10:00 service for our Annual Meeting. I have been looking forward to seeing our congregation gathered since my first day at Emmanuel in September!
It has been a whirlwind little over four months — about 19 weeks — and I’ve gone from trying to learn where all the light switches are to the joy of meeting more and more of you individually, and getting to know you better. This is where the really good stuff is — our connections with each other in Christian community, knowing each other and being known, and leaning into our common efforts here at Emmanuel.
I am thankful for the gift of this Emmanuel community. I have learned that Emmanuel is a wonderful, warm, loving, diverse community, even if we don’t all come to the same service or do the same things when we get here. We are a community even if we don’t all come only on Sundays — or never come on Sundays at all.
We’re the body of Christ in community. As the Apostle Paul says, every one of us is an important part of the body, even though we all do different things. We were all baptized in the Holy Spirit into one body with many members, each one doing its part. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
Let’s join in all our happy diversity at the Emmanuel Annual Meeting this coming Sunday, January 19 after the 10:00 service. We will begin with a festive potluck brunch and continue with the business of our lives together in Christ, discussing our resources, our mission, raising up new leaders, and reflecting on our goals in ministry together in this wonderful community of Emmanuel.View Sermon
Happy First Sunday after Epiphany! Monday we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Magi — also known popularly as the Three Kings, or the Wise Men from the East — follow the star to the manger in Bethlehem where our newborn king lay.
For me, the arrival of the magi to worship the baby Jesus stands out as a really important moment in our story. We don’t know where they’ve come from — just some vaguely stated, mysterious “East.” We don’t know what they do back home, or what their race, nationality, religion, or cultural or economic background might be. We don’t even know what their mysterious expertise is, and why Herod and all Jerusalem with him are so terrified of them when they find out they’re on the move.
All this mystery about who these strangers are at the side of the manger — next to Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and whatever other animals might be gathered around the manger — gives each of us a place next to Jesus at the birth. All this mystery gives all of us — every one of us — a chance to walk along with the magi as they journey toward Jesus and away from Herod’s reign in Jerusalem. No one is excluded from the group gathered around Jesus at the manger, as we have no idea what that group might even be.View Sermon