St. Barnabas Waunarlwydd

Discovering the Love of God in Jesus Christ.

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Message from our Vicar

Pye’s Ponderings

To everyone at St John’s, Gowerton and St Barnabas, Waunarlwydd,

Sermon: Epiphany 2, 2021

I take as my text for this morning a line from our gospel of St John: “He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’”

The theme running through our readings for today is that of finding and being found. It always reminds me of the game, ‘Hide and Seek’ we all played when we were children, and no doubt with our grandchildren and children today. Playing hide and seek with a little child is a bit of an art form isn’t it? To hide yourself well-enough to make it difficult for the child to find you, but not too well so as to panic the child into thinking that you have really disappeared, and then when they hide judging the right time to find them – not too soon and not too late!
The Old Testament reading is the well-known story of Samuel and Eli. I once heard it described by another cleric as the day that God found Samuel, which is so wrong it’s unbelievable. It is the story of when Samuel found God.
God never loses anybody. He called to Samuel three times and it was only then that Eli perceived that it was God calling him, and then Eli said to Samuel those thought provoking words:

“Speak Lord for your servant is listening.”

In our gospel reading Jesus finds Philip, but Philip tells his friend that he has found Jesus. Jesus found Philip in the physical sense but God through Jesus, knew that Philip was searching for him in his prayers and thoughts, and then Philip said to his friend, Nathaniel, Again in our gospel reading, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
Both these people were searching for something and they found it – but they were never lost in God’s eyes.
The question that arises for us is, do we wish to be found? And also on another level, have we found ourselves?
It is a very important fact of faith that God is always with us, He never leaves our side, and when we feel that he has we just need to rediscover Him. Below is a short hymn that you have probably heard before:

Open our eyes, Lord,
We want to see Jesus –
To reach out and touch Him
And say that we love Him.
Open our ears, Lord,
And help us to listen:
O open our eyes, Lord,
We want to see Jesus!

It’ very true, that on numerous occasions during all our lives, we shroud our faith with the issues and problems of our daily lives, and we fail to see God at work in our world. We may close our eyes and ears, but God is always there, because we have been given freedom of choice, we are able to choose whether we find time for God in our lives. AMEN