A Legacy of Testimony
The Gospel of John has provided us with rich readings the last three weeks; Nicodemus, the woman at the well and the man born blind. How Jesus meets each one of them, with grace, truth, and healing, and penetrating questions speaks to His role as the Good Shepherd. Like a shepherd He protects their dignity, their integrity and, yet, guides them into new discoveries of God and themselves.
As we make the liturgical turn into Lent 5, Holy Week and Easter, it is a great time to remind God’s people to mirror the apostolic and evangelical nature of these three characters. The desire to tell others about Christ is part of following him faithfully. Our Good Shepherd invites us to join Him in seeking the lost sheep, gently loving them and guiding them into relationship with Him.
We don’t know how Nicodemus responded in John 3, but in John 19 we are given a clue, where this same inquiring Pharisee now asks Pilate for the body of Jesus to bury. No longer in the dark, Nicodemus comes into the light, to ask for and receive Jesus, without fear of the Jewish or Roman rule. Nicodemus is living under a new hope, one that left him as confused as any disciple, but an obedient hope, nonetheless.
The woman at the well in John 4 leaves her old life behind, symbolized by her leaving the water jar behind, and says to the townspeople, “Come and see a man who told me all that I ever did!” She has to share Christ with others, and as a result, “Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony…” The woman at the well is beginning a legacy of testimony. She was seeking a shepherd in many places but it was the Good Shepherd that found her.
Finally, the man born blind in chapter 9 is healed. Upon interrogation by the Pharisees, he is put out with them and says in verse 27, “ I have told you already and you would not listen… Do you also want to become his disciples?” It's an honest question but not received well by his interrogators! The Pharisees cannot see past their own earthly power and miss the presence of the Good Shepherd, even when he performs miracles.
We can see in all three stories the consequence of coming to saving faith is telling others, living out our saving faith. Let us be aware of our opportunities to do the same, to follow the God-given desire to tell others about the Good News in Jesus Christ, especially during the next few weeks. There is a cultural slumber that defines Lent, regrettably, but the celebratory season of Easter is our opportunity, as shepherds, to call out to those who might be lost sheep! Wake them up! Spread the hospitality of the Gospel. Invite others to be a part of All Saints Dallas. Invite them to “come and see.”
The Crossroads Building Committee is continuing to meet weekly. Last week, we had a member of our design committee with us, Dee Ann Payne. The rest of the Building Committee is Jeff Swope, John Williams, Bob Wilson, Eddie Linss, Mike Blanchat and me. The Design Committee is Dee Ann Payne, JoAnn Dealey, Jenny Green and Brent Jackson. So many exciting ideas and possibilities are being discussed. There will be a time for congregational input in the future. Nothing is set at this point about our design, we want to move deliberately and prayerfully. So exciting and more to come. Keep us in your prayers as this whole project has been covered in prayer. God bless.