Sunday, January 15, 2017

Second Sunday After the Epiphany - January 15, 2017

For Epiphany 2a, and the commemoration of the birthday of Rev. Dr. King. 

When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated Anointed ).  - John 1:38-41

The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. -1 Samuel 3:8

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This epiphany we have been in search of Secret keys. 

Keys found in the Scriptures, that when grasped and used, 

unlock to us something of the Gospel of Christ’s Love,

that God’s love might flow more deeply into us, 

and that our hearts, our minds, and our worlds might expand as a result. 


The first key we found in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus said it. 

And it was this: 

If we wish to love, to serve, to honor Jesus, 

then we do so by loving, honoring, and serving our neighbor. 

We love God, and we love Christ, by loving Others. 

Amen? Amen.

This was our first key. 


Our second key we received last week from St. Peter. 

Like the first key, it was a special gift. 

So special that Peter received it in a vision.

And Peter named the key this way: 

He called it: 

“I now understand that God shows no partiality, 
I now understand that God does not discriminate.” 

With this key we also became open to the discovery that:
When I discriminate against others—by class or creed or color, by age or ability, 

I cloud my vision;

when i fall prey to the -isms, I wear a veil, and so I see God less clearly. 

If I wish to see more deeply, that is to see with my heart, 

I must have the veil of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, my veil of fear or hatred or [whatever] for the other,  


And when that veil is lifted, in that re-velation, in that Epiphany, there I find something of God, there is unlocked to me again something of the Gospel of Christ’s love. 

This was our second key. 


We love Christ by loving the Other. 

God shows does not discriminate, God shows no partiality. 

What is the key, the epiphany that might unlock for us something of the Gospel of Christ’s Love today?


I think it might be found in today’s call stories. 

When God called Samuel Eli helped him discern.

When Andrew was called, he did not go alone, he went and got his sibling, Peter. 

When the disciples asked Jesus where he was staying, he invited them to stay there too:

They asked: Where are you going? 

Jesus replied: Come along. Be with me. 


Peter, Andrew, Eli…

Each famous character we read about today is famous because of their special call. 

But without others, they would’ve missed their call altogether. 


And perhaps this is the key.

When God calls, it’s tough to respond on our own. 

(Perhaps not impossible, but it’s tough). 

Or said another way: 

When God calls, God calls us together. 

When God gives us a dream, God also calls us to share it. 

When God gives us a vision, it becomes for others a secret key with which to open the Gospel of Christ’s Love. 

All of the keys we’ve found this Epiphany were once revelations to someone else. 


What if Eli had hit the snooze button? 

What if Andrew had left Peter behind? 

What if Jesus had just signed a few autographs, flipped his hair back, and went on his way, instead of forming deep bonds with the disciples he had invited into his home? 

What if Rev. Dr. King had been given his dream, and instead of joining and building a movement he had just written to his congressman by himself from the parsonage? 


Thank God these faithful disciples didn’t go it alone. 

They took and shared God’s vision that they had received, their dreams, their secret keys that unlocked for so many the gospel of God’s Love. 

Dreams of a beloved community where there is play, and laughter, and joy, because the bonds of oppression are broken; 

Where we can run around like Children, become like children, for it is to children that the Reign of God belongs...

Dreams of a world where everyone is able to eat. 

Big dreams shared by a community. 

Do you dream? Of the Beloved Community? Of the Reign of God? 

What do you dream of? 

It can be difficult. 

But together, it’s easier than it is alone. 

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