Fr. Dave’s Homily for the Second Sunday after Epiphany

The Second Sunday After The Epiphany…Series A

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church (January 14th&15th, 2017)

Text: John 1: 29-41

Title: What Are YOU Looking For?…

 

Last Sunday (the First Sunday after the Great Feast of the Epiphany) it was our privilege to hear the first public words of Jesus of Nazareth, recorded in the 3rd Chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus has come to the Jordan River where his cousin John is preaching a “Baptism of Repentence”, and Jesus asks John to baptize Him, but John objects…”you should be baptizing me…not the other way around”.  But Jesus insists, and he says: … “Let it be so now…for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness”).  And those are the first public words of Jesus, recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. But today, on this 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany, we are privileged to hear the first public words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of John (the 4th Gospel). And these words (which are some of the most important words we will ever hear) are also directed at John the Baptizer and two of his disciples…Andrew (brother of Simon Peter) and an unnamed/anonymous disciple.  And as Andrew and the anonymous disciple approach Jesus, Jesus asks a question…a probing/penetrating and provocative question…WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR…It is a marvelous question…it is an Epiphany kind of question…and, when you think about it…it is the fundamental question of  life…Answer that essential…that fundamental question for yourself…answer it with brutal honesty, and you will discover the mission and the purpose of your life…WHAT, EXACTLY ARE YOU LOOKING FOR??

 

What are YOU looking for as we gather here in this beautiful sanctuary, as the 21st century disciples of Jesus?   Are you looking for religious entertainment…looking to have an aesthetically pleasant religious experience?  Are you here tonight/this morning to escape, even for a few moments, the craziness and chaos of this post-modern world in which we live?  Are you looking to hear comforting/comfortable words…words which support and confirm your own values and your current understanding of the truth and reality and the world you live in and the life you live?

 

Is that why you are here today… Is that what you are looking for??

 

Or are you here tonight/on this January morning because you are looking for God…Are you here to meet God…the God of the Bible…the God who saves thru Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit…the God who, in the very beginning,  spoke a word into the chaos of nothingness and created the universe and everything that exists.…God the Ground of all Being…the source of all life and truth and love?  As you were getting ready for church this evening/brushing your teeth this morning, were you preparing yourself for a personal confrontation with truth of God’s word…the Truth that has the power toset you free…but also the Truth that will, more often than not, disturb and disrupt much of what is comfortable and  familiar in your

 

life…Truth which will, more often than not, shake the very foundations of your life, like an earthquake.

 

Is that why you are here today… Is that what you are looking for??

 

My friends, tonight/this morning through the words of the Holy Gospel, Jesus asks each of us the very same probing/penetrating provocative question he asked Andrew and the un-named disciple more than 2000 years ago…WHAT, EXACTLY, ARE YOU LOOKING FOR… Answer that fundamental question…that essential question with brutal honesty and you will discover the mission and the purpose of your life…WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR???

 

My friends, as our Eucharistic celebration continues on this, the first day/Sunday of the rest of your life…let us remember that God doesn’t promise and has never promised a pleasant and soul-satisfying religious experience…he doesn’t promise escape (even for an hour) from the craziness of life in the real world. What God promises is that He will be personally and powerfully PRESENT in his Word and in the Visible Words of Baptism and the Holy Eucharist…God has promised to “SHOW UP” whenever and wherever the Word is proclaimed and the Holy Sacraments are administered. And tonight, as we welcome into the fellowship of Christ’s Holy Church thru the Sacrament of Baptism Christian Damon Higgs, we are reminded, once again, that saving faith…life giving/death defying faith, begins, continues and ends with a confrontation…a personal encounter with the Living God in worship. (pause) My friends, if that is what you are looking for…if that is why you are here this evening/morning…I have really Good News for you…you have come to the right place!!!

 

Amen!!

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