John 1:43-en. Epiphany 2 2014
How do broken people get to encounter Jesus ?
Other Gospels show the disciples dropping their nets and following Jesus instantly. John describes a more gradual process. When two of John the Baptist's disciples grew curious, Jesus invited them to come and spend a day with him. Soon, they were ready to tell others what they had seen and heard. John the Baptist sees Jesus and says “Behold!” – but he was his cousin wasn't he and he’s been at the baptism. He’s had time to think about it.
So Andrew and John followed. Jesus sees them following …he says, “Come and See”
Andrew gets his brother and so Peter joins in too. Jesus goes to Andrew & Peter’s town where Jesus found Philip. Philip finds Nathaniel and Nathaniel meets Jesus.
There are connections – human relationships – a chain of them.
That is still the most common way that people get to encounter Jesus.
That web of relationships is what is designed to hold the world, society, and the kingdom together. And it can be what holds it together when things get broken.
This world can be a place of brokenness.
Broken bodies, relationships, minds, ethics, hopes and dreams. It's painful. But not inescapable. Not hopeless.
The Bible says that God is one who “forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases” Psalm 103v3.
We believe that Jesus came and lived life here both to demonstrate and to achieve that.
We believe that Jesus is risen and alive today. And He still brings healing through this web of relationships – our relationships - His church. Because we have this web both within the fellowship of the church – but also our families, friends, neighbours, workmates, acquaintances and those we meet almost at random. When we meet with those in need then God is providing them with – a touching place. They may not be able yet to perceive God – but they can meet you.
People often get a bit broken. We're a bit broken ourselves. We'd love to pray with them for our broken world – Body, Mind, Spirit or Society. To provide A TOUCHING PLACE. “God makes with His friends a touching place....” (see below) Our Healing Team have been asking “What common issues of brokenness affect our community and Church that we can offer prayer for healing for?” A specifically targeted opportunity for people to respond confidentially in prayer.
We must pray for the Spirit to guide us we can identify particular issues for which we can offer prayer and support. Then we can offer an evening for people to come, hear some teaching about God's love, his support and His power to heal in these very situations.
Philip couldn't answer Nathaniel's questions. Peter didn't know that Philip would be at home. Andrew didn't know that his brother would be interested. John was intending to follow John the Baptist that day. The Baptist knew that his job was to make the path straight for Jesus.
They made the network.
Jesus said “Come and see”. Not only “find out” but “have your eyes opened” and be made whole. God calls us to be a touching place. Let us pray....
John L. Bell & Graham Maule.
Copyright © 1989 WGRG, Iona Community.
CHRIST’S IS THE WORLD in which we move,
Christ’s are the folk we’re summoned to love,
Christ’s is the voice which calls us to care,
And Christ is the One who calls us here.
To the lost Christ shows His face;
To the unloved He gives His embrace:
To those who cry in pain or disgrace,
Christ makes with His friends
A touching place.
Feel for the people we most avoid,
Strange or bereaved or never employed;
Feel for the women, and feel for the men
Who fear that their living is all in vain.
Feel for the parents who’ve lost their child,
Feel for the women whom men have defiled,
Feel for the baby for whom there’s no breast,
And feel for the weary who find no rest.
Feel for the lives by life confused,
Riddled with doubt, in loving abused;
Feel for the lonely heart, conscious of sin,
Which longs to be pure but fears to begin.
(From “Love from Below” Wild Goose Publications 1989)