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What are You Seeking?

21 Jan

The Gospel according to John differs from those of Mark, Matthew, and Luke.

John begins with creation, which is brought into being through the WORD that is Christ.

John, similar to Mark, does not include a birth narrative.

John does include Jesus’ baptism, but it is through the witness of John the Baptist to his disciples instead of Jesus. This is where we enter into the gospel this morning.

John the Baptist is excited, this is the One for whom he prepared the way.

John’s disciples were excited for the Israelites had been waiting centuries for their Messiah to come.

And Jesus’ first words, his first impression made, in the gospel of John is a question.

As one who is inquisitive, I appreciate Jesus arriving on scene with a question especially the simplistic yet complex and vastly open ended question posed…
What are you looking for? Or better yet, What are you seeking?

These disciples of John respond ‘to know if you are the long awaited Messiah’.

The awaited Messiah was expected to be a mighty warrior,
who would defeat the oppressing Roman forces.

What are you seeking?

The awaited Messiah was expected to be a great king,
more devoted than David and wiser than Solomon.

What are you seeking?

And yet, John the Baptist is boldly and loudly proclaiming Jesus as The Lamb of God, who will take away the sin of the world. This is a clear reference to Jesus’ death, thus the concept of Jesus as a blood sacrifice for our purity. Although our Psalm echoes the prophets of old, God does not desire or seek blood sacrifices and burnt offerings.

What are you seeking?
What is God seeking?

These expectations of the Messiah as a warrior, a king, and the sacrificial Lamb are heavy burdens.

What are you seeking?

Perhaps, the Cabana Boy Jesus (snapping fingers) whose existence is to be at your beck and call for answered prayers and miracles.

What are you seeking?

Perhaps, the boyfriend Jesus who is sung of in some contemporary music that could easily be a human-love story, if you only changed “Jesus” to “baby”.

What are you seeking?

Perhaps, the best friend who always is in agreement with you…
no matter how misguided.

Jesus’ second words is a simple invitation: “Come and See”.

  • Come, follow me.
  • Come, listen to my teaching.
  • Come, bear witness to my mighty deeds.
  • Come and decide for yourself.

Jesus invites these disciples into a vocation, a calling, to bear witness to God Incarnated, God in human flesh and bone.

It is an invitation that has and continues to echo through the centuries,
including in this time and place. But, How?

The simple answer is faith formation, which is developed in worship, devotional study, service, and fellowship resulting in a life that shines forth with the hope, peace, joy, and love of Christ.

The complex answer is to Come and See without our own agendas, expectations, and bias that seek to limit the power of the Holy Spirit working in, among, through, and even despite us.

And the result, is seeking to be in accordance with God’s will, not our own, and bring forth God’s Kingdom… through those baptismal commitments to:

  • Proclaim Christ in word and deed;
  • Seek justice;
  • Act with compassion and mercy; and
  • Love and serve all people, esp. those in the most need.

Or in the words of Micah (6:8), what does God require (perhaps seek) of us but to do justice, loving-kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.

What are you seeking?

  • May it be to come and see.
  • May it be to seek God.
  • May our words and deeds reflect God’s desire in our lives,
    our community, and our world. Amen

 

Scriptures were Psalm 40: 1-11 and John 1: 29-42.
Originally Preached on 19 January 2020 at Trinity Lutheran (Union City, IN).
 
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Posted by on January 21, 2020 in Sermons

 

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