(Some Greeks) came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested of him, ‘Sir, we want to see Jesus.’ ~John 12:21
Our preaching text this week takes seriously this statement from Greeks – outsiders, questioners and seekers – who want to lay their eyes on Jesus. In their request of Peter, they don’t ask to question Jesus; they don’t ask for a press conference or even an interview to do what the Pharisees and Jewish leaders do. These Gentiles, as good Greeks do, want to see for themselves if the world is changing before their eyes.
Just before this scene, Jesus has raised Lazarus from the dead, which for some reason has infuriated the leadership. Then, Jesus rides into Jerusalem before the Passover feast on a donkey, no less, which fulfills various prophecies and loose-ended scriptures.
Here is the newly hailed king and everybody wants to see him.
They approach Philip, one of the disciples with a Greek name, and ask for a time with Jesus. But what does Philip do? It sounds like he says, ‘Wait here. I’ll go find out if this is kosher.’ He goes to find Andrew who has brought people to Jesus before and after a brief discussion of which we are not brought in on, they go to find Jesus.
What’s interesting, though, is that by the end of this scripture passage, Jesus responds to Philip and Andrew and the entire crowd with a litany – a list – of various thoughts that spring from his mind. We don’t really know if the Greeks ever get to see him.
What would have happened if Philip said: ‘Come with me, Gentiles, and I’ll bring you with me to see him.’
This story plays out many times in the life of Christians all across the world. Outsiders, questioners, seekers, even antagonists, demand that we show them Jesus, and for some reason, we suck in a deep breath of fear and think:
What if I say the wrong thing? What if they think I’m strange? What if I am persecuted for my beliefs?
So we take the easy way out: we go find ‘professional’ Christians, those who are good at explaining stuff, and we leave the outsider/questioner/seeker/antagonist to wait while we figure out what we’re going to do with them.
This week, we’ll take a hard look at who Jesus calls us to be.
And even when Jesus words seem senseless to us, or at the very least unintelligible, we have the strength and power to say, ‘Let’s make some sense of this together.’
Bible Reading: John 12:20-33
Please check the website www.paravista.org.au for podcasts and video archives of weekly messages or head to our Facebook page www.facebook.com/goodshepherdparavista for regular updates and encouragement from our pastors.
As we adapt to our new way of living please forward all prayer requests to the church office via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 8263 5087. If you know or have spoken to anyone who does not have access to a computer, please assist them to submit their request and offer to pray with them. Prayer requests are not included in the weekly news online. If you would like to view the current requests please refer to the email that alerted you to this weekly news.
Faith Gym continues this Wednesday March 24th 7:30-9pm, here at Good Shepherd:
- Pr Reid Matthias: Faith and Film (for aged 15+). How do movies motivate us and shape our world view?
- Pr Rolly and Hope Stahl: Engaging Bibles Studies – Leaders Wanted. How do we help people engage with God’s Word so we are inspired to live it out? Please come along!
Grow Team Sessions
Workshop 2, The Ark, Salisbury, Saturday, March 27: Rethinking Faith Formation for the 21st Century.
We’ll be joining the other congregations in ‘re-thinking faith formation ministry for a new time and a new age.’ Discussing what it means to be a healthy community and create a culture that nurtures faith, will be a primary goal of this day. Secondly, home is church, too. The relationships between connecting faith at worship/congregational life with home life will be thoughtfully presented and discussed.
All are welcome!
Please register with us to experience a new way of ministry!
Grow Ministries Faith at Home
Dear Church Family,
As we move closer to Easter, we look at what sacrifice means. For followers of Jesus, his sacrifice is the turning point of our destiny. We now have hope. Here’s a question to ponder with your family and friends… Before Jesus’ death, his heart was “troubled” (John 12:27). Could Jesus have chosen not to die? Why or why not?
Our GFH resource shares questions and activities to consider. They even suggest an alternative to Easter eggs as gifts! There is a large printed copy for you to see in the café area. Check it out!
God bless your week with His love and peace. May you know how much you really matter to Him!
We celebrated Easter at Little Lambs this morning. There was painting, decorating and looking for Easter eggs. We listened to the story of Easter. It is a joy to be together.
Please note: Little Lambs will be having a short break.
Next week (March 26) is our school’s Sports Day. As the ladies on our Little Lambs Team are all school mums, they will be cheering on their own children for the day.
The following week (April 2) is Good Friday.
We will be back the week after (April 9) which is the last day of the school term. We will be having some outside fun in the school’s Junior Primary Playground that day, 9am until 10:30am. We will pop up some signs to direct you.
Have a lovely week,
The Little Lambs Team
Calling people who are interested in Worship Leading at church! If this is something you, or you and your family are interested in, I’d love to chat with you. Please let me know!
Support for the Family Zone
Food collection for the Family Hub starts again!
Last year our congregation was extremely generous in its support of the Family Zone, both provisionally and financially. This month on Sunday 29th March we recommence our monthly food collection.
The Family Zone has requested the following:
Tubs of margarine
Biscuits – sweet and savoury
Donations may be left in the church office or brought to either service on Sunday 29th March.
With sincere thanks
Have you seen Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ?
As part of its collection, the church library has a three-week video-based study – The Passion, the Purpose and Person of Jesus Christ Small Group Study that “allows everyone from seekers to mature believers, to discuss their thoughts and feelings about the film, and to find answers to their questions”.
Look on the spinner in the library for a DVD of the movie, the study DVD and multiple copies of the study guide.
Borrow the resources following the instructions on the noticeboard in the library.
To assist in the aesthetics of the church building it has been decided to upgrade the tub chairs to a more user-friendly type. The chairs are being offered for sale at $15.00 apiece. Please call or email the office if you wish to purchase one of them.
The next Convention of General Synod for the Lutheran Church of Australia will be held at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, Melbourne Vic from 28 September – 3 October 2021. The theme is Come. Listen. Live: Isaiah 55:3. Please consider representing our congregation at this convention by contacting either Stephen via the church office on 8263 5087, or any one of the board. Alternatively email email@example.com for further information.
“…God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”
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Church Giving via Electronic Funds Transfer:
Regular Electronic Giving (REG): BSB 704 942; Acc 100 354 939
Church Office Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9am-3pm
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388 Montague Road Para Vista SA 5093 | Phone: 8263 5087 | PO Box 306 Modbury North SA 5092