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 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi where are you staying?”  He said to them, “come and see.” John 1:38-39 

 Going on a walk with my family around the pond at Veteran’s Acres, we stumbled upon a number of puddles that had frozen over.  Frozen puddles, of course, are kid magnets; what could be more fun than stomping frozen-over ice puddles?  The image of breaking up, crackling and crunching of thin frozen layers of water will bring a smile to the lips of any native Midwesterner (who doesn’t remember doing that as a kid?).  

 Break the Ice! Keep that image in your head the next few weeks.  That metaphor will help guide us through this cold winter season here at Bethany.  We’ll be using it to help us think about how we can break through the cold, invisible layers of ice that sometimes surround our hearts.  

 We are going to be exploring what “Break the Ice” means. Of course, you know what it is.  It’s the moment when you introduce yourself to someone new or reopen a dialogue with a long-lost friend.  It’s when you say that thing that just needs to be said, or when you find the courage to mend broken fences. It means to invite, to accept an invitation, to reach out, to share to and to forgive.  Break the ice.   

 On our first Sunday after Epiphany, we’ll be reading the Story of Jesus breaking the ice with his newfound disciples, and he does so with a simple invitation: “Come and see!” 

 Andrew and Simon (Peter), left John the Baptist to go follow Jesus, and when Jesus turned to them he broke the ice first, “What are you looking for?” he asked.  “Rabbi” they said, “Where are you staying?” And Jesus replied simply, “Come and see!”

 It was a simple, but profound invitation.  It would be fair to say that it changed the course of history.  Simon Peter went on to found churches across the Mediterranean world, alongside the rest of the disciples. And it all stemmed from one man breaking the ice with a simple invitation.  Come and see!

 Invitations can be powerful (and intimidating sometimes).  They mark the start of something new and exciting.  They open up new possibilities and unknowns.  But God calls us to break the ice over and over, inviting people into something new and worthwhile. 

So maybe the next time you come across a frozen puddle, don’t be afraid to stomp on it as a reminder to break the ice.