Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sermon at the New Year & The Sunday After Christmas 2017

“Look. God’s dwelling place is now among the people.” -Rev. 21:3b

“I will give water without cost.” -Rev. 21:6

“That each of them might, eat, drink, find satisfaction.” - Eccl. 3:13

“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.” -Matt. 25:35 

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“Have you found Jesus yet?” I once heard a stranger ask one of my friend’s this question. 

A particularly ornery and sarcastic friend. 

Without hesitation the friend looked around frantically.

Under the table. Behind the trash can.  

“Oh no!”

He was freaking out. In a panic. 

Looking everywhere. All around. 

“Why didn’t you tell me?” he said.

Why didn’t you tell me?!”   !!!   !!!   !!!

“I didn’t even know Jesus was lost!”

[painful laughter] 


“I didn’t even know Jesus was lost!”


As tongue and cheek as my friend was, perhaps what he was missing in the midst of his joke was the irony (or perhaps even the hypocrisy?) 
that those of us who claim to follow Jesus

often fail to see Jesus in the very places that the Bible tells us that Jesus will show up.

Where is Jesus? 

Maybe he’s not lost. 

But far too often, he goes unseen. 


Where is Jesus?

The angels tell the shepherds: “in a manger.”

Where is Jesus?

Gabriel tells Joseph: In your spouse. 

Where is Jesus? 

Jesus says: “In acts of love,” “Where two or more gather.”  

“In the least, the last, and the lost.” 

“In the least of these, you’ll find me.” 


Here, at the New Year,

Here, at the second week of Christmas, 

we receive again the secret key that unlocks for us the Gospel of Christ’s Love:

“If you seek to love me, to honor me, to serve me,” Jesus says, “then honor, serve, and love your neighbor.”

“Honor, serve, and love the least of these.”

That’s it. 

That is the secret key.

That is Christian Love. 

If you seek to love me, to honor me, to serve me,
then honor, serve, and love your neighbor,

for at Christmas, and always, says Jesus:

that is where I dwell, that’s where I live: 

In the flesh. In bones and in skin and in Love. 


Have you found Jesus? 

There he is. 


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