“O Lord, you searched me and know me!” (psalm 139:1).
Every human ability or power- how we live, what we do, speak, think wherever and whenever, from where we come and to here we should go- it is all clearly God’s work and creation. Let us give thanks to the Lord.
Children’s chat: Tell about Jesus.
Grace, mercy and peace in Jesus name. Children, what is your favorite story about Jesus? Who would you share that story with? Do you know that as you share Jesus story you are one of His disciples? YES, even though you are children, you too can be His disciples. Let us pray: Thank you Jesus for call us to serve You. Amen.
Adult Sermon: The Son of God.
“Rabbi, You are the Son of God, You are the King of Israel!”
Grace, mercy and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
There are at least two ways we might understand Nathanael’s question to Jesus: “Where did you know me?” – “Where did you get your information about me?” It may be a question because Nathanael agrees with Jesus’ assessment about him. “Yes, I try to be a good and honest Israelite. How did you find out about me?” Or, if we consider Nathanael’s life under the fig tree as being a lazy bum rather than a reflective thinker, then Nathanael may not agree with Jesus: “You call me a true Israelite without any deceit. Ha! You couldn’t be more wrong. Who gave that nonsense about me?” Positive or negative, the Gospel focuses upon Jesus and His seeking out of Nathaniel- not Nathaniel’s seeking Jesus.
I find that there are many people with such a negative self-image that they have great difficult in accepting God’s positive regard toward them. The focus of the story is on the fact of Jesus’ superhuman knowledge and its effect on Nathanael. That seems to be John’s point, which leads Nathanael to make his good confession. That leads us into our faith question: How does the Lord seeking us translate into our own lives?
Nathanael makes a good, orthodox confession: “You are the son of God. You are the King of Israel.” However, Jesus questions why he believes. It is not enough just to say the right words or experience something miraculous – (Jesus’ supernatural knowledge). These things are just the beginning of following Jesus. Nathanael and we will see even greater things.
Saints, during this time of revitalization, we certainly consider today’s faith question. How does the Lord seeking us translate into our own lives?
Part of Discerning of our Congregation’s Future involves recalling God’s faithfulness in the past. Not just to reminisce or wallow in past glories; but as a step in trusting God for even greater things in the future. We are a “mission church” looking ahead to the greater things God is going to do with His St. James congregation. The “established churches” tended to look to the past at the good things God had done for the congregation. It was hard to move into the future when we are always looking backwards. You all know, you can’t invite someone to be part of the past. You can invite them to be part of the future. Bringing new members into old committees works best when all are working on a future project rather than reminiscing about what they used to do. New membership is all about Jesus invitation to experience and know Him!
The Christological focus of John 1:19-51 reveals much about the Fourth Evangelist’s understanding of discipleship. The decision to be a disciple is inseparable from the decision one makes about Jesus’ identity.… Unlike the synoptic call narratives, where Jesus promises the disciples a change in their own lives (Mt 4:19; Mk 1:17; Lk 5:10), the focus of the call narratives in John is unwaveringly Christological. Even for those who talk about “finding” Jesus, the initiative remains with Jesus, who was never lost. He was/is always present. When he breaks into our minds and life, it can be an “ah ha!” moment of discovering something that is right before our eyes that we were unable to see. The call narratives begin with the identity of Jesus, and any change for the disciples begins with recognizing and claiming Jesus. Nathaniel’s involved conversation with Jesus transformed him from skepticism to confession and the possibility of even greater experiences. How does the Lord seeking us translate into our own lives?
Let us pray: “Lord, help us to be open to all the ways you seek us. We ask this in Jesus name, Amen.”