January 15: The Second Sunday after the Epiphany

The Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews is the vicar of St. Hilda St. Patrick. The sermon for January 15 was preached extemporaneously based on the notes below. It was delivered as a response to John 1.29-42.

  1. John’s gospel doesn’t actually have Jesus’ baptism, just John the Baptizer telling his disciples that it happened as verification for him knowing that Jesus is the anointed
  2. Jesus comes back around. Because John has pointed Jesus out, tw of John’s disciples follow Jesus. They were prepared by John, waiting for Jesus.
  3. Have we been prepared? Are we waiting for Jesus? Are we following him?
  4. Gospel according to John is mystical and mysterious. Jesus doesn’t tell them where he’s staying, but invites them along the way.
  5. Jesus is constantly inviting us along the way. “Come and see”
  6. Unsure why the time matters, but maybe it was Friday, and they had to spend the night because they couldn’t go that far back after Sunset on the sabbath – so they spent more time with him
  7. Andrew hears Jesus speak and can’t keep it to himself. Something convinces him or moves him so deeply that he has to get his brother
  8. He can’t keep the Good News to himself. Do we?
  9. John’s gospel at this point doesn’t have Jesus teaching anything yet! 
  10. John the Baptizer has had a vision, Andrew and other disciple hear something. What do we hear?
  11. Epiphany is historically 1) the life and ministry of Jesus 2) a season focused on evangelism: sharing the good news because of our changed lives. Simon’s life is so changed that Jesus changes his name.
  12. Think for a minute about how your life is changed by encountering Jesus. What is it that brings you back here? 
  13. We’re here. We keep coming back. We’ve kept coming back over the last three years or we’re back now. Why?
  14. “Rebuilding is easier when you know that you are not actually rebuilding but building a new and different church. Some people will never come back. Work with those who are there and pray into a new future.” – Greg Brewer
  15. We have to pray into a new future working together. Let’s start now. If you have a smart phone and use Facebook, take it out and check in. Help your neighbors if they need it. 
  16.  Next part is uncomfortable but following Jesus leads to one place – the cross – so some discomfort along the way is part of the bargain. 
  17. My challenge to you is to invite anyone who likes the check-in who is not a member or regular worshiper here to Evening Prayer and Potluck next week via direct message. 
  18. “Hey! Thank you so much for liking my check-in at my church. _______ is why I keep coming back, and I’d love for you to come and see. Could you come to Evening Prayer and Potluck next Sunday?”
  19. Come and see.

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