Sunday 15th January 2017 – The Second Sunday of Epiphany
Isaiah 49:1-7 and John 1:29-42
The Collect for this Sunday
in Christ you make all things new:
transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen
This is one of my favourite Collects – how do the readings demonstrate this Collect?
- Where is the making of the new?
- Who is having their nature transformed?
- Who is making God’s glory known?
- The opposite – Isaiah – like Jeremiah, John the Baptist and Jesus were ‘called’ even in the womb. He’d been born with the tools to be God’s spokesperson – he had a mouth like a ‘sharp sword’ and he was like a ‘polished arrow’. But looking back over his ministry Isaiah is despondent. I have laboured in vain. I have spent my strength for nothing (tohuw – chaos). Unravelling, without form. But the Lord speaks and says ‘I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth’. And Isaiah is still giving us light. He’s still showing us about God. We only see the now. We can’t see the long game. We possibly have no idea how our lives, our work, have helped others.
- Simon is brought to Jesus by his brother. And he’s given a new name Peter meaning ‘Rock’. Is this a joke by Jesus? He grows into his name. At our baptism we are God’s daughter / God’s son and we are growing into this position by having our nature transformed. Although like Peter, this is a lifetime’s work!
- John the Baptist is testifying / being a witness – in Greek the word is the same. He acknowledges he’s just the warm up artist – John’s baptising so that Jesus can be revealed to Israel. And he, like us, are asked to just tell our faith as it is. What we have seen? Which is what John does. He makes God’s glory known. Thank you John.