Title: I Found It (Thanks be to God!)
Today’s Readings: John 1:35-42 Titus 2:1-15
Although I am a cradle Episcopalian and was raised in the church, there was a period of about 20 years when I didn’t attend worship services. I was living a productive life with a good job and a home and yard to fill my days, plus lots of friends with whom I could party and have a good time. As the years passed, I became aware that alcohol, which had once been a friend, had become a hard task master, and I had become its slave.
My neighbors in south Fort Worth were good Christian folks, one a Baptist and the other belonging to a Bible Church. I was aware that there was something in the way they lived their lives was appealing to me. The Baptist couple regularly invited me and Helen to attend their church and were successful in getting us there for a Christmas Eve candlelight service one year. (Read Titus 2: 11-14)
One day I noticed that the couple who went to the Bible Church had a bumper sticker that read “I Found It”. I didn’t know what “It” was, but it set up in my soul a longing to find “It” for myself.
In the reading from John, we find John the Baptist pointing two of his disciples to Jesus and identifying Jesus as the Lamb of God. The two disciples followed Jesus and spent the day with him. One of the disciples was Andrew, brother of Simon. Andrew went to Simon and said, “We have found the Messiah.” And Andrew sought and told him, “We have found the Messiah.” He brought Simon to meet Jesus, who renamed him Peter.
There was a longing in the disciples’ souls to find the one, true and living God, and they found it in Jesus. They were living productive lives, but they chose instead to follow Jesus.
My story moves along the same path. My neighbors, like John the Baptist, were pointing me to know Jesus and follow him. The longing in my soul was there all the time. I believe this longing to know Jesus is there in all of us, a sacred, holy seed that God places in everyone.
I moved to northeast Tarrant County in 1978 and found St. Martin’s, a place where I was welcomed, nurtured, and given spiritual direction; a place where I could spend time with friends getting to know Jesus. In time I found sobriety. The chains that bound me to alcohol were broken by God’s love for me. I had found “It”, but in truth, “It” had found me! “It” was there all along, a tiny, holy, sacred seed, longing to be nurtured and to grow. There is a hymn with words that speak to my journey to know Jesus, Hymn # 689:
I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
he moved my soul to seek him, seeking me;
it was not I that found, O Savior true;
no, I was found of thee.
Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea;
’twas not so much that I on thee took hold,
as thou, dear Lord, on me.
I find, I walk, I love, but oh, the whole
of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee;
for thou wert long beforehand with my soul,
always thou lovedst me.
Thanks be to God for parents who raised me in the Episcopal Church and for good Christian neighbors who prayed for me and pointed me toward Christ. Thanks be to God for St. Martin’s and for clergy and friends who with whom I learn of Jesus and God’s love for me.
Author: Flo Lowrey