The Wild Life of Following Jesus
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses and the prophets wrote about in the law: Jesus, the son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael asked him.
“Come and see,” Philip answered (John 1:45-46.)
What I love about these first connections with Jesus in the book of John is that Jesus doesn’t argue people into the Kingdom. It’s practically impossible to do it. Humans are very good at believing what they want despite evidence to the contrary. Whether vaccines, riots, Fascist leadership, Global Warming; people cannot usually be argued out of the position in which they’ve dug themselves.
I think Jesus knows this. I think since the Garden, Jesus has known that in spite of the overwhelming connection to things deeply spiritual and to God himself, there is always that inner human voice that says, “I’m smarter than God.” This is the first and greatest sin – the broken First Commandment.
Thus, Jesus, the Son of Man and Son of God, takes a different tack when approaching those who would be his disciples. In John 1:37, John points out the Lamb of God and two of John’s disciples hear this and follow Jesus. Jesus asks them the question he asks every human being from every time and place: “What are you looking for?”
What are we looking for? We’re searching desperately for hope, joy, peace, relationship and meaning. But frankly, we tend to look in all the wrong places.
Jesus doesn’t argue them out of their positions. He invites them into relationship with him. And so he does with Nathanael, one who doesn’t really think anything good can come out of Nazareth. Philip repeats the words that Jesus says: “Come and see.”
Suddenly the wildest life imaginable is opened up before them and not only are they invited to go to the place where Jesus has already been (come) but also to experience (see) that things are vastly different than this sad old world believes.
What does Jesus’s call to the disciples mean to 21st century disciples? What does it mean for you and me?
Read John 1:29-51 and follow me into the Wild Life!
Pr. Reid Matthias
Bible Readings: John 1:29-51
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.
Come and See Opportunities
Some exciting things to ‘Come and See!’
- Over the last months, Good Shepherd Primary School has opened up the doors to the gym for young adults and high school youth alike to do various activities, whether playing basketball, volleyball or even dancing. These happen on Tuesday nights, beginning at 7:00 pm (unless the school is using the gym). If you would like more information, contact Greta Matthias.
- Transform Youth are going to begin again starting in February! Transform, due to many different reasons, is shortening to two years and three or four sessions per term which allows flexibility in schedule and more opportunities for parents to engage with faith discussions at home. If you, or someone you know, have youth ages 9-13 (we can be flexible, too) who would like to come and see what Transform is about, there will be a parent meeting on February 28. See Georgie for details.
- To underpin how ministry is done across the board at Good Shepherd, we’ll be looking at how the Christian faith is experienced and passed on (come and see!) across generations. All of us would have had at least one person who stuck with us on the faith journey and it’s good to recognise how this works in practicality in churches. We’ve been invited by Grow Ministries to connect with two other churches (Immanuel Lutheran, North Adelaide and The Ark, Salisbury) to explore how this looks. All are invited for our first Introduction to intergenerational faith-building on March 13, here at Good Shepherd.
- The Social Club continues to meet on Thursday afternoons for fellowship and conversation. There are two carpet bowls rolled out and various tables of cards, RummyO or bring your own game. Coffee and tea are available. 1:00 – 3:00 in the Good Shepherd Hall.
- As we explore new ways to communicate the Christian faith, we’d love to hear some of your stories about people who have instrumental on your journey. If you feel comfortable being interviewed or even writing down your stories, we’d love to hear them. Please contact Reid for details.
- Our devotionals through Good Shepherd will begin in February. Looking forward to hearing how faith is expressed through these. We’ll keep you updated.
Grow Ministries Faith at Home
Dear Church Family,
Happy New Year everyone!
This week’s Growing Faith at Home resource gets us to think about following Jesus. What does that mean? What does it look like? As we embark on a new year, it’s actually something important to ponder, no matter what age we might be. How about sharing your thoughts with friends and family members? The resource offers some other ideas and activities to consider as well.
God equip, lead and remind you of His promises as you follow Him this year.
Calling all Netballers!
Our church netball team needs more players and also people who may be able to fill in on odd weeks. You would not be required to play every game. The games vary from a 6:30-10:15pm start at Golden Grove Recreation Centre and it is open to anyone who is 15 years old and over. If you are interested, contact Jane Jericho, on 0414 634 719.
Financial Assistance Update – Arsha
The response to the request on Sunday to assist Arsha Noroozi in his quest for permanent residency in Australia has been encouraging. Donations received to 31 December 2020 have reached the $8,640 figure. This will go a long way towards helping him to present his case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Donations of support can still be done in the following ways:
Electronic Funds Transfer
BSB: 704 942
Acct Name: Para Vista Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Operating
Place in an envelope marked ARSHA (we have Mission Vision Ministry Support envelopes available in the office or the ushers’ desks) either handed into the office or placed in a collection bowl after the service.
The church is required to comply with current Covid-19 restrictions as mandated by the State Government. From 1st December the updated plan requires us to display a location-unique QR Code. Anyone attending the premises (for whatever reason) is legally required to check-in using this QR Code. If you do not have the ability to check in using this code you are required to sign the visitors’ book with your name and telephone number. Please note the telephone number must be written on the sheet if you are registering your attendance in this manner. Please respect the safety of staff and others by complying with current social distancing regulations.
COVID-Safe Sunday Services
Please remember to maintain 1.5m distance when entering the building, attending communion and getting served tea & coffee. White floor markings are placed at 1.5m to assist you.
Please continue supporting our congregation’s mission and ministry through regular offerings as our facility and staff continues to operate in a different way.
Electronic Deposits can be made to the following bank account details:
Account No. 100354939
Account Name GSPV REG; or
Click on the GIVE button on our website.
LLL REG: Download the form here and use the same bank details as above in the “account to be credited” section, and email back to address shown on the form. Alternatively contact the LLL on 83607200 or 1800 556457.
Time Out Devotionals
There are four Time Out Devotionals left at $25 per book. If you would like one, they can be paid for and collected from the Church Office in the new year.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”
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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