Sermon Recording- Come and See (John 1.35-42)

coffee hang out relationship

Sermon Series: Hometown Missionary
Message 1 of 5: Come and See, Hanging Out and Making Invitations
Scriptures: John 1:35-42
This message was offered Sunday, 7/8/18 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida.

When you think of a missionary, what comes to mind?

  • Special people  who are identified and sent by a congregation
  • They have a calling from God and are trained to fulfill it
  • Mature, devoted followers of Jesus Christ
  • Often leave home to go to a far off, developing country
  • Might learn a new language
  • Might bring a skill like medical training, construction experience, knowledge of water purification techniques, teaching
  • Special people who choose a life of sacrifice, poverty, and danger
    • Praise the Lord that 2 of the 3 UMC missionaries in the Philippines have been released. Continue to pray for the release of Miracle.

Missionaries fulfill the great commission literally- They Go!

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Lo, I am with you always to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20 

Our job in fulfilling the great commission is to recognize and affirm their call, to support them in their training and mission work with our prayers, our money, and by sending supplies. Occasionally we might go on a short-term mission trip, but they stay “in country.”

This model no longer works. The world has changed. America has changed. America is now a missionary territory.

In the story of my family, there are 5 generations without faith in Jesus Christ. That’s 100 years.

We now live in Post Christendom America. Christianity no longer has preferential treatment in our society. It’s sometimes subtle and sometimes it’s downright hostile.

  • 24/7 work week + increased workloads, the need for 2 income families, job plus a side hustle, jobs in retirement
  • So many options for how to spend our time and money
  • So much pressure to raise “well rounded” kids who are committed to sports plus arts plus making great grades

Many of us came to faith when all you had to do was build a church and people would come. It was part of the culture.

How many of us trained to be missionaries? Very few! Therefore there is no shame in not knowing how to do this. We’ll spend the next few weeks reclaiming the missionary heart, prayers, and practices of our spiritual ancestors.

Take a breath. It’s ok if this is new for you, even uncomfortable. It is for me as well. I’ll be learning and trying out new things right alongside you. God’s power will be made perfect in our weakness.

So where do we start? We start simple just like they did in Bible times. We hang out with people. We build a relationship, build trust. Be a great friend. Care about folks with no agenda. God will open the door for deeper discussions.

Read John 1:35-42

Understand Who You’re Hanging out with/Inviting

This pie chart helps us understand the US population’s relationship with Christ and his church. Different groups are best reached in different ways

pie chart us population relationship with christ

Group 1 = Green and Gold Areas of the Chart

These persons have firsthand experience with words and ways of Jesus. (Scripture, Prayer, Holy Communion, Serving Others). They know church language, are comfortable in a sanctuary and in worship, and are comfortable around other Christians.

  • Dark Green (10%) name themselves Christians, have a church home, and are active participants one or more times per month.
  • Light Green (10%) name themselves Christians, have a church home, and are active participants less than once per month but more than just Christmas and Easter.
  • Gold (20%) name themselves Christians, have had a church home in the past but not currently, and are open to reconnecting to active participation with a congregation.

Group 1 Invitations = Come and See  

  • Easy to hang out with persons in this group because we have so much in common
  • Because of their experiences, you can invite these persons directly to church activities and worship

Group 2 = Orange area of the chart (20%)

These persons also have firsthand experience with words and ways of Jesus but are now uncomfortable at a church and around other Christians. They may have been hurt by a church experience. They may be angry at the church or at God. They may be ashamed of something or just adopted new priorities. They are closed to reconnecting with a congregation and maybe even faith itself.

Group 2 Invitations = We’re different

  • This takes much more prayer and relationship building.
  • Help persons discover our congregation is different from the hurtful one they previously experienced.
  • Different might mean relationships, theology, style, values, motivation, and/or goals.
  • Build trust, pray, and invite them to meet other Christians or try inviting them to events which will meet felt needs

Group 3 = Blue Area of the Chart (40%)

This represents persons who have little to no experience with the words and ways of Jesus. If the orange group is done, the blue group is none. All they know about Christianity is from TV, movies, and novels. (how often is that accurate?) They may have never stepped foot into a sanctuary. Coming to worship might feel like walking on Mars. They may not have had a Christian in their family or friends for generations, have never had a Christian in their family/friends, or even know a Christian.

For me, the longer I am a Christian, the fewer people I know in this group. I need help in this area.

Group 3 invitations = Go!

  • Reaching persons in this group is similar to foreign mission work.
  • It’s about cross-cultural relationship building on their turf rather than the church campus.
  • Invite them to out for coffee or for a meal, activity together

Your mission should you choose to accept it: Make space to hang out with people. Be a real friend. Really care. No agenda. Listen deeply. Be consistent. Treat people as people, not as a project.

*****************
I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Sean and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9:00 am or 10:30 am, or join us live on our Facebook page at 9:00 am Sundays or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

sermon © 2018 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Jesus, the Coming Messiah- Rejected One (Psalm 22, Isaiah 53; John 1)

Jesus, The Coming MessiahJesus, The Coming Messiah: Advent Readings from Old Testament to New
December 9: The Messiah as Rejected One
Readings: Psalm 22; Isaiah 53:1-3; John 1:10-11

Psalm 22:6-8 , The Voice
But I am a worm and not a human being,
a disgrace: -and an object of scorn.
Everyone who sees me laughs at me;
they whisper to one another I’m a loser; they sneer and mock me, saying,
“He relies on the Eternal; let the Eternal rescue him
and keep him safe because He is happy with him.”

Isaiah 53:2b-3, The Voice
He didn’t look like anything or anyone of consequence— he had no physical beauty to attract our attention. So he was despised and forsaken by men, this man of suffering, grief’s patient friend. As if he was a person to avoid, we looked the other way; he was despised, forsaken, and we took no notice of him.

John 1:10-11, The Voice
He entered our world, a world He made; yet the world did not recognize Him. Even though He came to His own people, they refused to listen and receive Him.

Prayer
Hallelujah to Jesus!
Who gives dignity in response to scorn

Hallelujah to Jesus!
Who offers relationship to the face of rejection

Hallelujah to Jesus!
Who understands our pain
The pain we get
The pain we reap
The pain we sling

time of silence

Name us, Jesus
Heal us
Forgive us
Make us new

time of silence

**********

Thank you for setting aside times this Holy Season to seek the One we celebrate.

Jesus, The Coming Messiah is an Advent Bible Reading Plan highlighting the Old Testament prophesies and passages which Christians see fulfilled in Jesus.

As you read each passage, consider how this description of Jesus the Messiah reveals his character, motivation, and purpose. How does this description inspire you to trust Jesus and his promises? How will you apply and share what you have discovered? I look forward to your comments.

If you’re in Sarasota, please drop by Trinity United Methodist Church for one of our seasonal events or services or just to say, “Hi.” You’re always welcome and wanted.

Happy Advent and Merry Christmas! – Lisa <

The Messiah as Rejected One © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in devotional settings with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information/permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayer: With us, In us, Amongst us, Through us (John 1:1-18)

baby hand2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas
Day 19 Reading: John 1:1-18
Jesus, The Word Made Flesh

The Word became flesh and lived among us,
and we have seen his glory,
the glory as of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth.
– John 1:14

Prayer: With us, In us, Amongst us, Through us
Jesus, we welcome you
God with us, in us, amongst us, through us

Jesus, we need you
God with us, in us, amongst us, through us

Jesus, we trust you
God with us, in us, amongst us, through us

Jesus, we see you
God with us, in us, amongst us, through us

Jesus, we follow you
God with us, in us, amongst us, through us

***********
Days 20 and 21 are set aside for worship and rest

This post is part of the 2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas. Click here for more information, including a list of all the readings.

Prayer: With us, In us, Amongst us, Through us © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings,
please refer to the copyright information page.

Prayer: Seeking Christ, The Word of God (John 1:1-18)

listening ear2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas
Day 18 Reading: John 1:1-18
Jesus, The Word of God

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
– John 1:1

Prayer: Seeking Christ, the Word of God
Hear the Word of the Lord:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. – John 1:1-4 (NRSV)

Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
I long for your words of light and life.

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.
– Hebrews 1:1-3a (NRSV)

Speak Lord, your servant is listening
I want to know you
I need your word to sustain me

Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. – Colossians 1:15-18

Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
Hold me together
Have first place in me
in everything

Time of silence

***********
This post is part of the 2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas. Click here for more information, including a list of all the readings.

Prayer: Seeking Christ the Word of God © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings,
please refer to the copyright information page.

Christmas 9a: Jesus, The Word of God

word-made-flesh-by-chris-shreve

Word Made Flesh by Chris Shreve, http://www.chrisshreve.com 

The Story of Christmas
Day 9 Reading:
John 1:1-18

He who is without flesh becomes incarnate; the Word puts on a body; the Invisible is seen; by whom no hand can touch is handled; the Timeless has a beginning; the Son of God becomes Son of Man – Jesus Christ, the same yesterday today and for ever. … O strange conjunction! The Self-existent comes into being; the Uncreated is created. He shares in the poverty of my flesh, that I may share in the riches of his Godhead.
Gregory of Nazianzus

He was created of a mother whom He created.
He was carried by hands that He formed.
He cried in the manger in wordless infancy.
He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.
– Augustine of Hippo

Extended quote from Living Our Beliefs by Kenneth L. Carder
Central to the Christian Faith is the conviction that Jesus Christ is the supreme revelation of God. …

Jesus Christ is the very flesh and blood of God’s nature and God’s intention for all humanity. Jesus of Nazareth is the human face and action of the Father, and is Creator of the universe made known in history. John’s Gospel proclaims, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. … From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:14, 16).

Charles Wesley’s beloved Christmas hymn expresses the Church’s understanding of Jesus Christ:
“Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of a virgin’s womb.

Veiled in flesh the God-head see;
hail, th’incarnate Deity,
pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.”

Prayer: Seeking Christ, the Word of God
ONE: Hear the Word of the Lord:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. – John 1:1-4 (NRSV)

ALL:
Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
I long for your words of light and life.

ONE:
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.
– Hebrews 1:1-3a (NRSV)

ALL:
Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
I want to know you. I need your word to sustain me.

ONE:
Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. – Colossians 1:15-18

ALL:
Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
Hold me together. Have first place in my life.

Time of silence

**********
Please consider patronizing the wonderful work of Chris Shreve, today’s featured artist

For information on The Story of Christmas Reading Plan, click here

Seeking Christ the Word of God: prayer and compilation © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia. You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Chris Shreve maintains copyright to today’s featured image. Contact the artist directly for inquiries.