Sermon podcast: Epiphany 213 Jan 2020 By Sermon Podcasts
John Green, Chair of the Morogoro Partnership Group, 19 January 2020.
Press the play button to listen to the recording or click on the download link to download a .mp3 file to your computer.1 Corinthians 1.1-9 / John 1.29-42
Well I do hope that you had some wonderful presents at Christmas. Some of us will have been lucky enough to have several gifts, whilst others may have had none at all. Some presents will have been useful and others less so and, I guess, some gifts may have lacked any element of surprise because we chose them ourselves! Now in the Season of the Epiphany we remember those fabulous gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh that the three wise men brought to lay at the feet of the infant Jesus.
In today’s Gospel reading we hear of John the Baptist who introduces us to the greatest gift of all, a gift for everyone, a gift that can lift us all out of sadness and despair and offer us new hope and confidence to live our lives to the full. We are told that John proclaims Jesus to be the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the whole world! What a gift to each one of us and to the whole world!
Then we are told that two of John’s disciples overheard him make his proclamation about Jesus and became curious and, so curious were they, that they began to follow Jesus just to see what John had been rattling on about! You can almost hear their inner questionings and doubts. How can this man be a gift and a present to the whole world? Then Jesus turns towards them and asks them what they are doing! They “stumble” a reply by saying that they are curious about where he is staying. Then we are told that Jesus invites them into his life with that amazing and challenging invitation to COME AND SEE!
Of course we know how things eventually work out. Those disciples become disciples of Jesus themselves and eventually their lives become precious gifts to others.Perhaps you rarely receive gifts, but have you ever dared to dream that your life might be a precious gift for others? Perhaps there is someone in your life who so precious to you that they are the most special present that you will ever receive?
How can this be I can hear you saying!...my life, a precious gift to others? This cannot be true!After all what have I to offer? Well stop and ponder for a moment! Each one of us is a child of God, created in His image so that our lives might reflect the fathomless gift of Divine Love! How special is that! Speaking personally, I have wonderful memories of a lovely housebound lady in a former parish who for a number of years became one of my greatest gifts. In the rush and struggles of a busy parish she had time for me, time to listen to me and time to pray. How great and wonderful is a precious gift like that! She had little money and nobody to give her gifts and presents but her life was the most wonderful gift to me.
In this Epiphany season let us thank God for his wonderful invitation to explore his fathomless love in the life of Jesus. Let us take up His invitation to ‘Come and See’ and let us give thanks for those whose lives fill us with love and hope and, above all, let us remember that our life with all its problems and struggles may be the greatest gift of all to someone else!
- What special gift would you like to receive in 2020 ?
- Is there someone special in your life who is a gift from God ?
- What do you learn about God as you pray for that person?