Der Vasken’s Sermon on November 13, 2022

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Last week, some of us attended the Funeral of one of the Clergy of our Diocese who passed away sooner than
anyone expected. It was a moving & emotional day . . .and as I listened to the Eulogy & the Consoling Letters that
were sent to the family, and as people started sharing their thoughts during the Hokejash in the Church Hall, I kept
hearing how this one clergyman “brought” people to better appreciate their Faith over the years, he mentored
younger & older parishioners & accepted them “as they were.” He helped people understand why it’s important
that they take care of their Church & Faith “because one day, it will take care of you” he told them, “when you
need it.”

Today’s Bible reading picks up this very point & speaks about discipleship. It focuses on having the Faith to be a
follower of Christ.
So let’s look a little closer at Faith this Morning. Most of us were brought to our faith by other people like Andrew
in today’s reading. We were baptized & brought to the church – by our parents & God-parents. We grew up in the
Church, & were taught about Faith, by other people. We were taught right from wrong by other people . . . We
were encouraged to live our lives in a God-pleasing way by other people. So, God brings other people into our
lives to bring us closer to Him. People like our parents and grandparents, our God-parents, teachers, mentors, or
other faithful members of the Church who teach us by example. God brings other people into our lives to reach us,
teach us, guide us, and ultimately to strengthen our faith. It’s the responsibility of all of us to be that Christian
example for others. It’s a privilege to do it, and it’s our Christian obligation to do it.
Today’s Gospel lesson, says that we’re “called” to Follow Christ . . . but what does that mean? It means that when
God calls us to follow Him, He sees within us a place where faith can grow and thrive. That’s what Jesus saw in
His Disciples when He called them to follow Him. On the surface they were: 12 Fishermen with minimal
education, born & raised in & around 1st-century Villages, just average men. But, what He saw within them was
far beyond Average. He saw them not only as they were, but He also saw them for what they could become. He
saw their potential.

Not too long ago, at the City Hall here in Cambridge, I attended a monthly meeting convened by the Mayor of
Cambridge with the Leaders of Faith Communities from around the city, and the Guest Speaker that day was the
new City Planner and he described the work he was planning for many of the intersections and Neighborhoods of
Cambridge. As he spoke, it became obvious that he “saw” the City for its growth potential. Show a City Planner a
piece of property, and he or she will immediately imagine the neighborhood it can become. Show him or her an
empty lot, and they envision a strip mall. Artists & Writers do the same thing. A blank canvas to us is a painting
not yet painted. To the eyes of an artist, a blank piece of paper to us is just that, but to a writer, she sees a story not
yet written. That’s how Jesus saw His disciples, and that’s what He sees when He looks at us. He looks at us and
through faith shows us what we can become. That’s the boldness of Faith. Every day, we’re called to reflect that
Faith into the world, and we can do that by remembering every day that someone somewhere is depending on us to
do what God has called us to do and by living our lives in this way, we honor God bring Him Glory . . .
So, today, take a moment to ask God to help you see yourself as He sees you. And then, ask Him to help you
become the Disciple He needs you to become . . .That’s the boldness of Faith.
Amen.

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