I was taking a picture of the altar this morning. I opened the Bible to the Old Testament book of Judges, and placed the cup representing the New Testament next to it. And I noticed the shadow…
And since I was thinking about how the New Testament reflects the promise of Jesus in the Old Testament…I thought it was worth a picture.
The sermon this morning is about friends of Jesus and how we are called to reach out to others saying, “Come and See.”
Friends introduce friends to Jesus.
I haven’t posted very much because I’ve been extremely preoccupied with some other things. Life has been happening and taking up time, Tennessee Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is going on now through tomorrow, some sick folks, hurt folks, and a few other things have pretty much kept my mind in other places.
I have glanced through Facebook though, and one thing I continue to notice is that there are a lot of unhappy people evidenced by what they write. They have moments of joy but even their joy is tainted by their unhappiness.
There is a sermon in that somewhere, maybe more than one. But I’ll let it lie as it is.
Peace and Joy
The picture below is one I’ve taken at each season of the year, I took this one this morning. It’s a sidewalk that runs parallel to the railroad track and it just looks inviting to me. One of these days I’ll stop and walk as far as it goes and back again.
The picture reminds me of adventure and I suppose adventure calls out to many of us…those who accept the challenge seem to live more fulfilled lives (just my opinion).
But those who are willing to set out on an adventure seem more open to experience life to it’s fullest. That’s one reason I like following Jesus, he leads through adventure.
Many years ago, I didn’t really think of following Jesus, I thought – and was pretty much taught – that Jesus was the ticket to heaven, punch that ticket and when you die you’ll see Jesus in heaven…along with all those other folks who believed the same way.
But when I became more interested in God through the Scriptures, Jesus began to appear. I think that’s interesting because I begin my serious Bible reading in the Old Testament in the book of Joshua, hardly a place to find Jesus.
Long story short I was led through Acts and then Paul’s letters in the New Testament, and from the witness of those Adventurous believers I began to see Jesus in a different light. Jesus was one who affected life in the now – not someone to keep me safe and take me to heaven when I die – but someone to follow, someone to listen to, someone to trust – today. Jesus began to teach me to move closer to him and learn from him.
And the more that happened, the more people began to look different, and there began to be this urge to help other people understand that Jesus is much more than a protection agency. Jesus is a way of life that leads and inspires, and calls us to action day to day…presently not sometime in the future.
So when I read a couple of weeks ago about Jesus calling his disciples friends because all that he learned from the Father he had made known to them (John 15:15)…it began to make sense to me that friends of Jesus are the ones who follow him without regard to personal interest, people who continue to love as they are loved by God, people who absorb Jesus such that they see as Jesus sees.
When I think of adventure, I think of life with Jesus.
Been too long since last post but I’ve been busy and out of town on a mission excursion to Baldwin Louisiana. Here are some pics of the week of some of the local scenery.
Interesting critters in the Bayou Teche.
Author Brian Zahnd wrote on Facebook awhile back one word.
And instantly people commented on his post. The comment I remember touched my heart.
“So…I try to be like you, try to feel like you do…it’s no use. I don’t see what you see when I look at the world.”
And what I’ve come to see and believe is that because of a lack of vision of the Kingdom, many cannot experience the peace that Brian was talking about deep in the soul.
It is a vision of the Kingdom that continues to allow many of us to have peace.
Jesus said that we get a glimpse of the Kingdom when we are spiritually reborn (John 3:3). We get a glimpse of the Kingdom when we see compassion in action, when we see acts of mercy and grace, when we see the least offering their pittance for the greater good, when we see the strong humbled, the powerful acting as servants of the poor, when we see the poor in spirit offer a hand to the mournful, when the fatherless, the alien, the widow are cared for…
Jesus indicated that the Kingdom was in full view when these things happened…Glimpses of the Kingdom are all around us, and once we have caught even a fleeting view…our perspective changes…and we think of words like…Peace.
|Jim on May 16, 2017|
|Bart on May 16, 2017|
|Jim on May 1, 2017|
|Bart on May 1, 2017|
|Jim on April 24, 2017|