Epiphany moments are a time when we suddenly see something we have not seen before. We are called and anointed by the Holy Spirit to do something new. Jonah is called to go and proclaim a disaster for Nineveh. Paul warns the Corinthians the end time is near, and Jesus calls His disciples to leave their old life and go out and make disciples.
1. Calling People to let Go of their Old Life
This is the hardest part. We are all very attached to the comfort of our established lives.
· Need a motivation – impending disaster, end times
· Jonah is told to proclaim the fall of Nineveh – he has no idea God’s plan is to get them to leave their lives of sin
· Jonah is angry with God for relenting – learns humility and compassion
· My own push came in the form of a political termination at the height of my career as a professional librarian – I was President of the Library Association of Alberta
In our baptism we enter a new covenant relationship with Jesus. This is called Kingdom Life - as in the kingdom is near you. We receive the Holy Spirit and are “born again”. We pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as in heaven.
· My way becomes thy way
· Our sins and the unholiness that separated us from Jesus are repented, renounced and washed away in Baptism
· We receive Holy Spirit, as the continuing presence of Jesus to convict us, heal us and guide us
· We experience love, joy and peace as the burdens of sin guilt are lifted off, as we confess and receive forgiveness from Jesus.
· This is the Good News we are to proclaim
3. Calling People to Go Out and Make Disciples
When people first experience the love, joy, peace, forgiveness and healing, of their new life in Jesus, they feel compelled to go out and share the good news.
· They have had the ultimate Epiphany experience
· They have experienced the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
· As they respond in faith and go out to make disciples they have more and more of these experiences of divine guidance and support
· Their joy grows and they become bolder and able to face and overcome opposition and obstacles
· Their joy energizes them and motivates them to make more and more disciples
· They are living and working in the Kingdom of God on earth and being made ready to be in God’s holy presence in heaven.
Jesus did not say “watch me” – He said follow Me.