Sermon - January 17, 2021 - St. Martin's In the Desert

Sermon – January 17, 2021

Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Year B
January 17, 2021

First Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-10, 11-20
Psalm 139:1-5,12-17
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Gospel: John 1:43-51


Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen  

Follow Me

The Gospel of John 1:43-51, Jesus went to Galilee, there he found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.”

Philip in the same city of Bethsaida, where Andrew and Peter were from, Philip found Nathanael and Philip, says to him…” We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

A reference to that in Deuteronomy 18:15, Moses, references to the coming of the Messiah, 

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet.”

Nathanael, said to Philip, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Jesus see’s Nathanael coming and ‘Here is truly and Israelite in whom there is no deceit!”

A compliment, Nathanael is taken back and calls Jesus, “Rabbi you are the Son of God!

Jesus, tells Nathanael, “You will see grater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” 

In Gen. 28:12 Jacob’s vision is of a “ladder” joining heaven and earth. Though he has received the good blessing from his father, he is homeless and his life is endangered. The Lord’s gracious visit thus assures Jacob that Isaac’s words have not been spoken in vain. He is indeed the recipient of the promises of salvation made to his father and grandfather.

Tomorrow marks two different days I want to call our attention too. 

Martin Luther King Jr. day, January 18th.

Dr. King was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. Dr. King is best known for advancing civil rights through…nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi. 

Over eleven years from 1957 to 1968 he travelled over six million miles, gave over two and a half thousand speeches, and addressed a quarter of a million people in his ‘I have a dream’ speech.

Also, tomorrow

The Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle. 

Luke 9:18-20 Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?” They answered, ‘John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen. He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.”     


God’s greatest prophet Moses, who brought down the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai, laying the foundation for the Jewish faith. In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Moses is considered one of the most important prophets to have ever live.

The disciples met Jesus with mystical wonder and awe, they didn’t hesitate in giving up their current lives to follow Jesus and later to baptize and spread the Gospel. Reminding us that between heaven and earth, we have a relationship with God. 

Good News

Like Philip, Jesus calls us to “come and see” …what great things will happen. He has called old prophets, Moses, Samuel, John the Baptist. 

He called disciples to follow him, like the Apostle Peter and Nathaniel.

And in present day, He called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Jesus calls on us too!  He offers us a chance to follow him and see the greater things that will happen when we except him and follow him.

Picture in your mind, Jacobs ladder, and the angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man. It is our sign that following Jesus is a way to our salvation.

We have the promise of joy and hope in helping others, here at St. Martin’s, in the midst of a pandemic and online services we still have a worship life, as small as we are, it can still enrich and strengthens those who come.

We want to give people a sense of belonging and a feeling of a community that loves one another, just as God loved us. 

“Come and See” and “Follow me”

The Reverend Lola Culbreath