The Story for the
Second Sunday in Epiphany
January 17, 2021
prepared by the Rev’d Adam Brown
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you,[m] you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Something to Do
If you’re like me, you may be procrastinating and still have your Christmas Tree up in your living room. If you do, make a decoration inspired by this week’s readings and hang it on the tree. If you’ve already gone ahead and thrown it out or put it away, make a decoration anyway and find somewhere else to hang it for the week.
Under the Tree
Take a walk sometime this week and stand under a tree. Where do you see Jesus? What is he saying to you?
Something to Wonder
“Come and See”
We often associate the invitation of “come and see” to Jesus, but in this passage it’s Philip who who invites Nathanael. How have you heard the call of others to “come and see”? What about the saints? Do any stand out to you?
Fig trees are often the symbol of people coming together and congregating for community or study. As we are in another lockdown, how have you or others found innovative ways to still maintain a sense of community?
Something to Learn
The Immovable Ladder
The phrase, “…you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” calls to mind the story of Jacob’s Ladder (Genesis 28:10-19) with the ladder being a symbol or a prophecy of Jesus. Another, more visible and infamous, ladder in our own times is the “Immovable Ladder” at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. A product of centuries of disagreements and division, both between the Church and the secular governments that come and go, and amongst Christians themselves, the ladder has remained a symbol of a desire for Christian ecumenism and unity for hundreds of years. In 1964 Pope Paul VI declared that the ladder would only be taken down when all Christians have finally reunited.
You can read more about the Immovable Ladder here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_Quo_(Jerusalem_and_Bethlehem)
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.