Message for Second Sunday After The Epiphany – January 15, 2023

Brothers & Sisters:

This week’s theme is a call to faithfulness. The call to worship Psalm expresses thanksgiving to God for his faithful deliverance. The Old Testament reading from Isaiah recounts the calling of the servant to be a light to the nations. The text in Corinthians records Paul’s introductory remarks to a letter calling a wayward church back to faithful obedience. In the Gospel reading from John, we have Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist who bears witness to Jesus as the Lamb of God, which calls others to follow him.

The pattern of the Gospel story will play out time and time again throughout Jesus’ ministry.  It is a perfect pattern for evangelism:

  • First, John the Baptist see Jesus
  • Second, he shows Jesus to others.
  • Then, John shares his own experience of Jesus.

The pattern gets repeated a couple of days later, when Andrew and the other disciple see Jesus and follow him. Then Andrew shows Jesus to his brother, Simon, and shares with Simon his own experience of Jesus.  See. Show, Share. At its heart, evangelism is noticing what God is doing in our lives, sharing that with others, and inviting them to come and see for themselves.

So why do we find this so hard to do? Why are we so afraid of spreading the Good News to others?  Each of us has had some encounter with Jesus, or we wouldn’t be here right now. Think about it for a moment: how have you personally experienced Christ? How have you seen God in action lately? It’s hard to share an experience you haven’t had. It’s hard to show someone something you haven’t actually seen for yourself.

We are in the season of Epiphany, when we remember how Jesus was revealed to the wise men who came from the east. Last week, we celebrated the Baptism of Our Lord by remembering the promises made at our own baptism. Those promises are a good reminder to actively seek God’s kingdom in the coming year. In order to see God among us, we have to be looking for God at work in our lives.

Jesus asks us the same question. What are you looking for? What do you seek? What are you hunting for, to satisfy your soul’s deep longing? When Jesus says, “what are you looking for?” he’s asking if we are ready to be disciples.  If we want to be with him day in and day out from this moment and for all eternity. If we recognize that following Jesus is the only way to know the fullness of God’s love, then it just makes sense for us to want to spend every moment in Christ’s presence.