Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | January 13, 2024

Congregation Update: Let us Go Forth in the Name of Christ!

Blog|The Rev. Joe C. Williams

Dear Friends,

Last Sunday, we baptized new members into the household of God – it was a wonderful and joy-filled day. Each time we baptize, there is a portion of the baptismal rite that asks us: “Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers?” It’s a part we’re used to hearing, and may reflexively answer “yes” to, but this Sunday’s Gospel lesson reminds us of what that looks like. 

Sunday, we will hear the story from John’s Gospel about the calling of Phillip and Nathanael; we hear of Phillip’s immediate “yes” to follow Jesus, and his subsequent proclamation of his faith by proclaiming this truth to Nathanael. This brief call story reminds us that discipleship is active, and not passive. We mustn’t sit back and simply offer our “thoughts and prayers” when we see a need around us, or injustice occurring. We offer thoughts and prayers because we care, and we want our neighbors to know that we care, to know that they’re seen. But this sentiment can often be hollow and short-lived. Heeding the call from Sunday’s gospel, we notice that Jesus and his new disciples, were always on the go.  

“Jesus decided to go to Galilee,” 

Jesus’ ministry was one spent on his feet – being in community. His ministry was that of prayer and movement. When we pray, we must also “go.” During the baptismal rite, we are reminded of this fellowship. This active call to pray, break bread together, and be in fellowship with all. Our baptismal covenant specifically calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Even those we may disagree with, or those who are different. We are to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being. We are to recognize Christ just as Phillip and Nathanael did; we are to recognize Christ in those around us.  

During this season of Epiphany, may this calling of the disciples remind us of our own call – our own charge to “go.” To go into the world – to move our feet. It may look different for each of us, yet by doing so, we help bring the light of Christ to others who may be struggling in darkness. My prayer is that we will embody the light of Epiphany this season and go – go out into the world and rejoice and love in the power of the Spirit.  


The Rev. Joe C.Williams

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