Epiphany 2. Yr A January 19th 2020
Isa.49.1-7; Ps.40 1-12; 1 Cor. 1.1-9; John 1.29-42
“We have found the Messiah.” This is Andrew telling his brother Peter about Jesus.
“We have found the Messiah!!”
He might have said, “We have found the One who is chosen to lead us from slavery into freedom. We have found The One who is to bring light to this dark world. The One in whom all sin can be forgiven.”
“The Messiah, the Christ, the Chosen One.”
I wonder if you remember when you found Christ. It may not have been a scintillating revelation. It may have been a gradual awareness, a gradual realisation, or a sudden realisation – an Epiphany, in fact.
Or after a particularly hard time, it may have been a realisation that during that time, someone had been there with you, and that someone was Jesus.
Cast your mind back. When did you first find Christ?
Actually, though, I don’t think we find Christ.
He finds us.
Were you ever lost as a child? Can you remember the feeling: the dread feeling when you look around, perhaps after playing in the toy department of the store, and your mom is not there?
And your heart pumping, fighting back tears, you wander around in a daze, until finally you hear her voice, out of nowhere, “There you are!”
And you are found.
What a joy.
What a relief.
Imagine then, for an adult, how heartwarming it must be to be found.
But first, we have to realise we are lost. And that is the problem. Many people don’t even know they are lost.
I was thinking back over some aspects of my life the other day, and I remembered some decisions I had made, some directions I had taken, as a young man.
I remembered how I had been sure at the time that what I was doing was right.
I was so sure.
Or maybe I didn’t care!
Now looking back, I wonder how I could have been so naive. How could I have been so stupid.
I was like that child, playing in the toy department, and not knowing I was lost.
Until one day, after I had made so many wrong decisions that I came to a dead end, and it was obvious even to me that I was lost – knew I was lost – with my heart pumping, and fighting back tears, he found me.
And he had been looking for me for a long time.
Do you have a recollection like that? And if so, do you remember the great feeling, afterward?
A minister was walking down a hospital hallway when a man came running out of a room, and with a great smile on his face, he shouted, “She is going to make it.”
The minister didn’t know who ‘she’ was, nor who this madly joyous man was. It didn’t matter, the man just had to tell someone.
Andrew had to tell his brother Peter, that he had found the Messiah.
He just had to tell him.
And bring him to meet Jesus.
“Andrew was good at bringing people to Jesus wasn’t he? There are only three times in the Gospels when Andrew is the centre of the stage. There is this incident here where he brings his brother to Jesus. There is the incident in John 6, verses 6-9, when he brings to Jesus the little boy with the five loaves and two fishes. Then there is the incident in John 12, 22 where he brings the enquiring Greeks into the presence of Jesus.
“It was Andrew’s great joy to bring others to Jesus. He stands as the man whose one desire was to share the glory. He is the man with the missionary heart.
“Having himself found the friendship of Jesus, he spent all his life introducing others to that friendship. He could not keep Jesus to himself. ” 
He had to share his joy, in finding Jesus.
How many people do you know who find gladness in knowing Jesus?
And do you show it?
I remember hearing this true account, some time ago. The writer was just about to get into his car in the car park, when he heard someone blowing their horn.
He saw a man in a car, his face distorted with fury, his hand hard on his car horn.
It seemed that someone else had just driven into the parking spot that man thought he was going to use. And wanted to vent at someone.
The writer said that he looked at the other car, and saw a man get out. He was big and bulky, and he naturally wondered what was going to happen.
Was there going to be a fight?
The first man took his hand off the horn, got out of his car, and just stood there.
The big guy went toward him, and stuck out his hand.
“Hi,” he said, with a smile, ” My name’s Bill Matthews, how can I help you?”
The other guy’s face relaxed. Suddenly! He forced a smile back.
” Sorry,” he said, ” I guess I was a bit out of line.”
The other guy said, “Oh don’t worry about it, we all get irritated some time. Here’s my card. If you ever want insurance, give me a call.”
It would be nice, wouldn’t it if
in a similar situation, one person
could say something like, “Hi, my name’s so and so. I am a
Christian. Here is my card. Call me if you ever want a ride to church.”
With the love of Jesus shining from their face.
You know, God uses us to help him with all sorts of people. It may not be the ones obviously in need. It may be the wrong time
But they just might be – in need..
They just might have been directed by God, towards you.
And when that happens, if the gladness that I feel in knowing Jesus, and the need to tell others about him, doesn’t come through, then something needs fixing.
I am going to have to pray about it.
Pray, that when He sends someone needing help my way, I can be there for them. And that something is showing through.
How about you?
Do you feel that joy in Christ? And if you do, do you think you show it?
We show it here, in church, don’t we? But what about out there with people who don’t know us?
And here’s the kicker: if I am not showing a gladness in Christ, then it raises the question: Is there something wrong with my spirituality, or with my relationship with Jesus?
And if there is, it needs praying about.
But you know, I am also reminded of a story about a family which once upon a time moved into a new house.
It was a very nice house with a lot more room than in their old house. However, it was also strange and when it came time to go to bed, the three children were very sleepy but they didn’t like their rooms because they were unfamiliar and they didn’t like the house because it was not their old house and they didn’t like anything because they were so tired.
Then they woke up and were frightened and angry. Their parents hadn’t come to the room to tuck them in again before they fell asleep.
Now they woke up frightened and angry.
So they stormed down stairs and discovered that both their parents had fallen asleep in the front room, their mother on the couch and their father on an easy chair.
The kids were shocked and dismayed. What good were parents who grew so tired when they moved to a new house that they forgot their kids and just fell asleep.
So they woke their mommy up and shouted at her. “Why did you go to sleep on us mommy?”
“ Because I’m human,” she said, “and I get tired. Even Jesus got tired.”
“Yeah!” said the kids, “ but he wasn’t our mommy!”
People want us to be perfect, don’t they? Especially our children, and we want to be perfect don’t we? But we aren’t. And we can’t be.
We are human.
There is no magic formula that puts a never-wavering smile on your face, or gives you the patience of a saint.
Even some of the saints didn’t have the patience of a saint.
But when you know you have touched Christ, give thanks, and be joyful, and tell about it.
Share the joy.
When your cup runneth over, let it spill onto someone who needs it.
When we can pour blessings on people rather than our disdain, then we will know, that like Andrew, we have found the Christ.
Or rather, he has found us.
 The Daily Study Bible, William Barclay, G.R.Welch Co. Ltd. Burlington, Ont. Rev Ed.1975