January 19, 2020
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
Come and See
“What are you looking for?” Jesus’ question cuts to the heart of our humanity. What will satisfy the ache in our heart for that something more that is so hard to name? What do we need to live a life of joy and purpose, a life in which the light of love and abundance cause our hearts to shine and to illumine the lives of others? We are needy by nature, hungry for personal, intimate communion with God, the great love who is our Source. The words of the psalms and of great spiritual writers echo this theme through the centuries. We find no rest, no peace until we abide in the all-possessing love of God that flows from the heart of Jesus to us.
The little Greek word meno appears sixty-three times in the Gospel of John; two of these are in today’s gospel reading. The word means “to stay,” “to abide,” “to dwell,” or “to remain.” Two disciples ask Jesus, “Where are you staying (meno)?” This is not merely a question about his lodging, but about where his heart dwells. Jesus abides in the unfathomable heart of God. He and the Father are one, joined in intimate, loving communion.
The two followers remain (meno) with Jesus for the rest of the day because they want exactly the same thing we want. They want to be with him, sharing intimate, loving communion. They want to be touched, filled, embraced, enveloped, resting, and at peace in the immensity of God’s love. This is the deepest need of the human heart—to abide in an everlasting love and know this love abiding in us. Today and every day God invites us: come and see, worship and sing, pray and rest in the one who hungers to abide in you.
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The Readings in the Bible
After the prologue of John’s gospel that proclaimed Jesus as the Word of God from before creation, the light of the world, and the only Son of God, comes John’s accounts of Jesus’ baptism and the subsequent call of the disciples. John used the narrative of the calls to present the identity of Jesus, as more of his titles are proclaimed: the Lamb of God, rabbi, and messiah.
Spoken in about 550 bce to inspire hope among the Israelite exiles, this second Servant Song proclaimed that God had called Israel and Jacob, not only one day to return to their land, but to be God’s servant to bring light and salvation to the whole world.
First Corinthians was written by Paul in about 54 ce in part to address various situations in the Christian community that he believed needed correction. Corinth, Greece, was an important cultural and economic city in the Greco-Roman world. The letter develops the standard form of salutation into a full description of the meaning of the church. Paul’s subsequent words of instruction are meant to strengthen the community as it awaits the imminent return of Christ.