16 JANUARY 2011 CR COMMUNITY CHAPEL
EPIPHANY 2 - ISAIAH 49:1-7. PSALM 40:1-12 I CORINTHIANS 1:1-9. JOHN 1:29-42
Children here and now
A friend of CR, a
married ex-nun, from a staunchly Catholic American family, was educated at
This is putting it
rather strongly as preachers often do, perhaps more than is theologically
sustainable but there is a point here. We can be so hung up about our sins
and our need to confess them not only in the confessional and by apologising –
as Jesus told us to do: “if your brother has anything against you,
first make it up with your brother before you come up to the altar with your
offering” (Matt 5:23-24) and about the coming Day of Judgement too, that we
forget all the other texts which say something different. We are sharers in the
divine nature, partakers of His Divinity (2 Peter 1:4). “As He is, so are we
in this world.” (1 John 4:17)
not slaves but friends and heirs, brothers and sisters of his beloved Son,
having the same relationship (at least potentially) with the Father as Jesus had
himself. Filled with the same Holy Spirit. Having been baptised into his death,
that we may rise with him to newness of life, that we may have confidence
on the day of judgement.
With the continual
dilution of parish coverage by ordained clergy and with the divisions which are
so tragically moving almost daily nearer, it is all the more important for
ordained clergy to empower the people of God to share in the high priesthood of
the Lord Himself.
The context of the
first appointed reading, which we heard earlier, is Isaiah speaking to the first
wave of returned exiles to
Our vision of the
new Jerusalem doesn’t depend on moving bodies from one place to another but on
our all accepting the divine offer that we are God’s children here
appointed but not used, Psalm 40, is cited because it teaches that obedience to
the Law, praise and thanksgiving for God’s gifts, are more acceptable than
sacrifice. That means no need to return to the earthly
Paul’s start of
his letter to the Corinthians names Jesus eight times in nine verses, like
someone who can’t talk about anyone except his beloved. This Jesus calls us
into fellowship = partnership with him and will see us through to the Last Day.
In Jesus, God in all his power and love is personally present, summoning all
people into his own family, equipping us all for his service.
John’s gospel is
all the time telling us, what those who saw and heard Jesus found so hard to
believe, that not only is Jesus the Messiah King who’ll free Israel from
foreign domination but also the only begotten God.
Only God can
enable us to be what he has called us for. In his service is perfect freedom,
because only in his
service are we free to be ourselves, what he has called us to be.
In other places, we see Jesus calling disciples, calling us; not the practice of Jewish teachers, whose pupils chose them. Here in John, they come looking for him, as the normal practice was with rabbis and their pupils. Then Jesus invites them: “Come and See”. Jesus is already looking out for them and calls them. That is our experience. We think we have made the choice, to do this or that, go to college, test our vocations but really we can see that all the time it is Jesus who is calling us, enabling us to come forward, to be his friends, his brothers or sisters, his co-workers, to bring in the kingdom to all nations, peoples and languages, to join in his offering and sacrifice. We can do what he asks because he enables us to become with him partakers of the divine nature which is his and the Father’s.