January 16, 2011
January 16, 2011
The Rev. Wisnel Dejardin
Psalm 40: 1-12
John 1: 29-42
Pleased be seated!
Commemoration of Haiti January 12 earthquake
Since Wednesday until today, a lot of events have been taking place around the world to commemorate the first anniversary of Haiti’s January 12 earthquake. People from every nation gather together to pray and to reflect on what was happening, what is happening, what will be happening in Haiti. Today is our turn at St. Timothy’s. We gather together in this holy place to pray, and to reflect on Haiti. Before I go farther, I would like to thank each one of you especially Father Brad, Rev. Leslie, and the Service Ministers for this memorial service.
I am sure that everyone here knows that the Haiti January 12 earthquake affected the entire country and destroyed so many lives. We are not here this morning to grieve, but we are here to reflect on what is going on in Haiti after one year. We are here to give thanks to the Lord. Even though Haiti’s January 12 earthquake destroyed so many lives, if we look it with the eyes of faith, we will see things that to be thankful for. We must give thanks because we are Christians. We affirm and believe that God is present in the midst of all tragedies.
The Bible tells us to give thanks in everything. We often complain to God about all the bad things have happened to us. Things we do not deserve and things we do not want. How can we be thankful for everything? The Haitian survivors give to the world one of the most powerful examples in that paradox, even though Port-au-Prince (the capital) is destroyed, even though we have lost family members, and friends. Even though some of us have lost everything, we cannot stop praising and glorifying God. St John Chrysostom, one of the archbishops of Constantinople gives us a powerful example as well. He endured many things for the sake of the Gospel. His enemies had driven him into exile, they persecuted, and despised him, he died far away from all the comforts and honors which he had enjoyed, but he died with this sentence in Greek=doxa tō Theō pantōn heneken – which means "glory to God for all things.
The Gospel reading for today presents us a wonderful image concerning our mission as the church of Christ, our primary mission is to introduce people to Jesus. John the Baptist pointed two of his disciples to Jesus; “here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” one of these disciples was Andrew and he became a follower of Christ. After his dialogue with Jesus, he wanted to know where Jesus was staying so that he could interview Jesus privately. Where are you staying? Andrew asked Jesus. And Jesus answers him “come and see.” Jesus invited Andrew to come and find out for himself Andrew spent time with Jesus. . What about you? Are you spending time with Jesus? Brothers and sisters, my good news for you is that the true disciples always like to spend time with Jesus.
Let us look at Andrew’s first reaction after meeting and spending time with Jesus. Andrew found his brother Peter. He went to him, and he spoke to him. He told him that Jesus was the Anointed One to the Jews; this meant Jesus is the Messiah. Andrew brought his brother Peter to Jesus. Why? Because Jesus was the answer. Jesus was the life. Jesus was what they had been looking for. And you know what? Jesus is still the answer today. Jesus is still the life today. Jesus is still what people are looking for today. I believe that each one of us is a follower of Christ. After meeting and spending time with Jesus how many people have you already brought to Jesus? Brother and sisters, bringing or introducing people to Jesus is our primary task.
If you ask me, where are the Haitians survivors staying after one year. I am about to answer you “Come and see. Go to Haiti and you will se. After one year, if you go to Haiti now you will see the people are still living under tents for shelter, you will see the place that they have been living is very dirty. They cook, sleep and go to the bathroom in the same place. That’s horrible to see. If you go to Haiti now, you will see some people have been driving the most expensive and beautiful cars while young children, and adults have been dying day after day and night after night from malnutrition, from cholera, and from impure water. Most of the population has been struggling for food, for clean water, and for clothing. While tones of food and money have been sent for them, where are they? I don’t know. Those who were rich become richer and those who were poor become poorer.
Even though we have been facing all the difficulties that you already know; earthquake, cholera, storm, and political problem, I truly believe that one day Haiti will rise up again. I deeply believe that one day the Sun of justice, liberty and peace will rise and shine upon all Haitian people. I believe that one day there will be no more corruption in Haiti, there will be no more children who will die from malnutrition, and there will be no more people who will sleep in the street. I believe that one day all Haitians people will find food to eat, pure water to drink, and medicine to take when they get sick. Yes, one day all Haitian people will be treated with respect and dignity everywhere on this planet, as all other nations. One day Protestants, Episcopalians and Catholics, will be able to join hands and saying we have found the Messiah and together will bring people to Jesus as John the Baptist and Andrew.
Is a new Haiti possible? Yes, a new Haiti is possible. To make it possible we need to pray more, we need more strong women and men who can stand up and fight against corruption. We need more people who will be able to speak for the voiceless. We need more hands, black hands and white hand to give Haiti another direction, to bring new life in Haiti. Haiti needs new hope. Hope for today and hope for tomorrow. God bless Haiti!