Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing devotions based on the United Methodist membership vows, where we pledge to support the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. This week’s focus is WITNESS.
35 The next day John was standing again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus walking along he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard what he said, and they followed Jesus.
38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he asked, “What are you looking for?”
They said, “Rabbi (which is translated Teacher), where are you staying?”
39 He replied, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.
40 One of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Christ). 42 He led him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
Everyone likes a personal invitation, even if it’s spur of the moment. Someone invites you for coffee, to dinner at their house or to an activity they’re passionate about for a good cause. Many of us make new friends through current friends at these fun get togethers.
Living during a time of pandemic we’ve learned to second guess these personal invitations. Is it safe, is it wise, what’s the risk versus the gain? Concerns about being with others has definitely impacted our sense of what it means to be in community. It’s left us feeling isolated in ways that interfere with us re-engaging. Some haven’t come back to church and those who are back aren’t fully connected because of changes brought about by the effects of the pandemic. We’re all seeking for what was and can’t be, or we’re seeking for something not yet found.
John the Baptist, found what he was seeking. He knew Jesus was the Messiah. He witnessed the Spirit like a dove descend on Jesus when he baptized him. John told his two disciples who are seeking the Messiah, to follow Jesus to know more. Jesus asks them “What are you looking for?” He invites them by saying, “Come and see.” One of those two disciples is Andrew, who invites his brother Peter to meet Jesus. The three of them go meet Philip who tells Nathaniel. See how the Good News is spread? Person to person, inviting others. Jesus calls disciples into community to learn about God’s love. In the process they become a community of Spirit filled believers who will spread the Good News to the world.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
“What are you looking for? Come and see.” Come and see what God is doing. Jesus calls us into community to experience what the Spirit will do through us, and through our community, together. All are invited, none are refused God’s grace and redeeming love.
We’ve experienced a lot of change in our lives and in our church community. But the mission to make disciples for Jesus Christ has not changed. Jesus asks each of us, “What are you looking for?” It may require we leave the past behind and follow Jesus to build a community beyond anything we could ever imagine. Jesus calls us, to come and see what God will do, through us, in community, together. Who can you invite?
Prayer: Precious Jesus, we are seeking something not yet found. You call us to leave the past behind and follow you, to come and see what God will do through us, in community. Send your Spirit to move among us and lead us to be a community that bears witness to your redeeming love. Amen.