Sunday, January 16, 2011
A Myriad of Names
The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, "Look, here is the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter). John 1:32-42
Today we celebrated the Eucharist with the people of the Cathedral of St. John here in Albuquerque. With Native people from all over, we heard, in story and in song, of many ways God is praised and the many ways we are called to serve. From the range of vestments and regalia to the voices raised in song, there was evidence everywhere of the splendor and diversity of God's creation and the joy that is shared as people so diverse gather together. We all had stories to tell and our elders shared today. And they shared their hardships but also the constancy of God, and the incredible hope for the future. And they invited us all to respond to God's call to serve, no matter or age, gender or the life we have known.
The Gospel for today tells of the calling of two brothers, fishermen who turned from their lives to follow Jesus. They had been seeking, and had heard John tell of the Messiah. Andrew came to his brother and announced he had found him. And then, leaving what had come before, while remaining who they were completely, followed the one who would lead them and guide them from there on out.
This day, I give thanks for the wondrous variety of God's creation and God's willingness to include all of our variety and names in the fabric of the faith community. God insists on inclusion rather than conformity, on loved shared with all rather than a limited and regulated community. And I give thanks for the many Native leaders who have helped me to find the Messiah and who have given me the courage to follow Him.