RCL Year B Epiphany 2
1 Samuel 3:1-20; Psalm 139:1-5 and 12-17; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Saint John 1:43-51

After surviving last week the coldest weekend of the year, we are gathered together to hear a Gospel about growth and opportunity. Two very warm subjects are growth and opportunity. No, I’m not talking about a mutual fund. Nor am I talking about “transitioning” to retirement. This Gospel is about growth and opportunity in the lives of Philip and Nathanael, how they grow and how they take the opportunity to be as Christ would have them be. Jesus, the Word made flesh, the Son of God, this is the One who says to Philip: “Follow me.”[1] And Philip has to respond. For his relationship with Jesus to continue, he must at least give some response. Philip’s relationship with Jesus is a living and dynamic relationship, a rhythm of call and response.

In hearing God’s call and in responding, you and I discover growth and opportunity. We grow as we hear and answer God’s call. When we do not hear God’s call or when we do not respond, we do not grow. We do not grow as individual persons or as a parish.

The minute that you or I begin not to hear God’s call becomes the very minute that you or I begin to allow something to block our relationship with God. And then our relationship with God and with each other withers. Imagine Philip hearing the voice of Jesus saying “Follow me,” and imagine Philip not responding. Imagine what and who he would then be. Imagine the damage that would be done.

For God has not created us, God has not baptized us, into his Son’s death and resurrection, to seek our own will or our own pleasure. God has created us, God has baptized us, to be his people, to be in a relationship with him which is loving and tender. God has done this for us to that we may be his people in a broken world, a world broken by things not true, a broken world desperate to be healed and forgiven.

The call from God is here. God always calls on us to follow him. The ministry to a broken world and broken people is right here, not far away at all. More than one, surely, will say with Samuel in the Old Testament Lesson, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”[2]

[1] Saint John 1:43.

[2] 1 Samuel 3:10.