Bishop Rayford High’s Chrism Mass Sermon April 15, 2014

Bishop Rayford High’s Chrism Mass Sermon April 15, 2014

John 12:20-36

I am grateful that you all are here this morning on this Tuesday in Holy Week to join with your sisters and brothers in ordained and lay ministry. I am especially grateful you have taken the time out in this busy, frantic, holy of holy weeks to share Christ’s presence in the bread and the wine, to share a meal together, to share a conversation with each other.

As with the old 1928 Prayer Book, our Gospel for this day is the same – for year A.B.C. The same Gospel story about Philip, Andrew, Jesus, and “some Greeks.” I wonder what it would have been like on that day?

Some inquisitive Greeks wanting to see this Rabbi – to just see Him, ask Him a few questions, sit down and discuss some philosophical questions? The disciples asked Jesus a question, the answer – well – you know how it is when you ask Jesus a direct question.

I had a clergy friend in West Texas and the joke about him was, if you asked him the time, he would more than likely tell you how the watch was made.

Ask Jesus a simple question and He tells you what is going to happen to Him – at which time, the disciples may have never come back with this: “So Rabbi, can these Greeks see you or not?”

I am drawn to these words simply because of their relevance today. – No, we don’t have many coming to our churches and say “Sir/Madame, can we see Jesus?”

But we do know from the stacks of surveys, there are folks among us and out there, who do not know Jesus or what He means – or ever even met Him.

As I said earlier, I wonder what it would have been like? Well, the scenery and the clothing, and the language may be different today, but we who love Jesus, like Philip and Andrew, are still being asked to help others see Jesus. In fact, those of us who wear these collars and different color shirts have a huge responsibility. Still today, people by and large recognize who or what we are because of our outer appearance. So, whether we want to or not, you and I are the path for others to see Jesus.

How do we treat each other? Sister and brother Christians, the stranger, those on the margins? Do we offer a friendly smile, a word of encouragement, a pat on the back, a greeting? A word of encouragement when it is easier to just say “too bad “or something not very encouraging?

We know our Lord is seen by others, those Greeks among us today, by our service to others, not for our own benefit, but for Christ’s sake.

So when they come and say “We wish to see Jesus,” let us say, “Yes come, I want you to meet Him.”