DAY THREE John 2:1-12
Madeleine Jones, Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church
Service always done in the name of Jesus.
"They have no wine." "Do whatever He tells you."
Any wedding takes careful planning and preparation. Yes, the Feast is a Celebration but it also consists of service for both the Bride, the Groom, and for the guests. At times, an action of service may come from a guest, as at the Wedding Feast of Cana, when the Mother of Jesus recognized that there was no more wine. Jesus was called upon by His Mother to be of service even though Jesus was still living a hidden life.
How often do we put others before ourselves? Always, sometimes, never?
At times, we may feel last, inferior, insecure, hurt, ill and yes the list always seems to grow. We are told to visit the sick, those in prison, to feed the hungry, to shelter the homeless. Do we do this?
Jesus could have remained hidden; however, He was aware of a greater need, a need to show kindness and to be of service to others. In the second half of Chapter 2 of John, we see Jesus performing another type of service. This time to His Father, in driving out money-changers from the Temple.
Action Step: Service opportunities are among us daily, whether it is an act of gentle kindness or an act of justice. We need to step out of our hidden life and into the life of Christ.
Prayer: Oh Lord, in Your name, may we always have the courage to be Your Servants. Amen.
John 1:29-50Sharon Taylor, The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection
The word "evangelism" makes many good Christians nervous. Perhaps it is because when we think of witnessing our faith to others we think of strong-arm tactics and Bible-quoting sales pitches. We think that making disciples is forcing faith in Jesus on others and convincing them why they must believe like we do. Yet, in the Gospel of John, we are given a very different picture of evangelism. The word itself comes from a Greek word that simply means "good news". Witnessing is simply sharing the good news of what God has done, and is still doing, in Jesus Christ. Evangelism is a pointing to God's grace and mercy. Evangelism is pointing to the source of our hope and trust. It is an invitation offered in love.
In our passage, John first models this for us. John the Baptist has his own little group of followers by now. Yet, he is clear to say that he is not the one for whom they have been waiting. So when the time is right, John points to Jesus, literally, and says, "Behold the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world". John says, "Here he is!" John points away from himself to Jesus, and that's when it all begins. Once they are looking at Jesus they become intrigued and the invitation is given. They ask Jesus, "Where are you staying?" He replies, "COME AND SEE." With that, the word began to spread. The excitement began to spread. Andrew told Simon. Philip told Nathanael. And when Nathanael's response was less than enthusiastic, Philip simply says, like Jesus did, "COME AND SEE"
This simple invitation is our calling. Someone pointed us to Jesus at some time in our lives. It may have been your parents, grandparents, a neighbor or a classmate. It may have been a friend who asked you to make quilts for refugees. When is the last time you pointed someone to Jesus? When is the last time you saw God working in your daily life and shared that with someone? When is the last time you invited someone to COME AND SEE? Our life in faith is a two-sided coin. One side says COME AND SEE. The other side says GO AND TELL.
As we prepare for The Church Has Left the Building, let us remember both.
Action Step: Reflect on who in your life you need to say "come and see."
Prayer: Dear Lord, please keep our eyes and ears keen to whom we need to point to you. Amen.
Welcome to Love the World: The Church Has Left the Building
One Sunday a year, a growing number of congregations launch out to be Jesus' hands and feet in countless community projects. What started in 2010 with Woodside Church in Yardley, PA is mushrooming into a movement of congregations.
The movement engages all ages in projects that bless local communities. In a single day, they stock pantries, deliver books to inner--city--school libraries, clean up the environment, lead worship for people in recovery, make meals for the homebound, build shelters for the homeless, sew dresses for Haiti, and so much more. It is truly a taste of heaven.
The day is really the culmination of 40 days of prayer, Bible reading, sermons, and small-group Bible studies. As we read about Jesus loving the lost and healing the hurting, momentum builds toward the day when we go out and follow in his steps.
Our theme is "Love the World: The Church Has Left the Building." Based on John 3:16, our outreach this year will focus on the way Jesus loved individuals in the Gospel of John. All the devotionals in this booklet are meditations on the book of John, encouraging us to love in Christ's name.
On Sunday, May 17, 2015, United Presbyterian Church will leave the building following worship to love the world in Jesus' name! We hope you will be inspired by this devotional to join us.
DAY ONE John 1:1--28
Carolyn Edwards, Faith Lutheran -- Northeast Philadelphia
Where do you see Jesus? As a life--long Lutheran, I have heard and read verses 1 thru 5 of this passage more times than I can remember, and yet
than as I read it again for this exercise, I have to read it more than once before it sinks in. With some help from my interpretive Bible, I learn that the Jews used the term 'the word' as an expression of God's wisdom. Now it starts to make sense, reminding me of what I have always known: In the beginning was God, who gave us the Light, which was Jesus. So if people want to know
God, they can look to Jesus. If people want to know Jesus, they can look to his followers. My Pastor once posed the question, 'Where do you see Jesus?' As we kick off these days of prayer leading up to May 17th, I think it is more important to ask "Do people see Jesus in you?' In a few short weeks, we will be taking our faith out into our communities. What a perfect opportunity to show our friends and neighbors what Jesus was like!
Prepare your heart, mind and body in the weeks leading up to May 17th.
Lord, help us to see Christ in others, and to show Christ to our world. Amen.
DAY FOUR John 2:13-25 Michael Capron, Hopewell Presbyterian Church
What was Jesus so angry about?
When I get to the movie theater, I have to buy a ticket and cannot bring in any outside food or drink. If I can't afford it, I don't see a movie and I go hungry & thirsty. When I come to Christian worship, I don't have to pay anything and they serve me the Lord's Supper for free (probably coffee hour goodies too!)
I don't think Jesus is angry about people doing business in church, or even turning a profit. It isn't about the money. It is about worship. They were holding worship hostage for those who could afford to pay. This is the reason he is especially angry at the sellers of doves--those were the animal sacrifices that very poor people offered.
For interesting comparisons, read Mark 12:41-44 and Matt 17:24-27.
What barriers are in your worship space that would keep newcomers away? Prayer: Lord God, help me to offer my whole self to you in worship: my attention, my mind, my praise, my talents and my money. Amen.