I AM – words have power
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” -John 1:1-5
This Sunday, we kick-off our fall worship schedule and programs. Worship begins at 8:30am, Christian Education Hour at 9:45am, and Classic Worship at 11am. Our new sermon series, “I AM, in Jesus’ own words”, will lead us on a discovery of who Jesus is, through his teaching as recorded in the Gospel of John. As followers of Jesus, we are called “Christians”. The Greek name describing Christians is literally translated “those of Christ” they belong to Christ, as his possessions, Paul also calls Christians “slaves of Jesus Christ”. It is a powerful statement about their identity.
Where do we find our identity? Is it in what we do, our accomplishments, our accolades, our responsibilities, our possessions? Is identity only about how we live in relation with other people? I am a pastor, a wife, a mother, a daughter, an aunt, a teacher, a boss… Or is our identity found in Christ? In who He calls us to be? As we follow Jesus, we want to know more of who HE is, so that we can emulate his character and his behavior.
I find it so interesting that Jesus doesn’t teach his disciples only what he wants them to do, but how he wants them to BE. God didn’t create us to be Human-Doings. He created Human BE-ings. In our being-ness, we have this incredible gift of God’s presence within us, we are made in the image of God – the “IMAGO DEI” is how we describe this phenomenon from Genesis.
The very first chapter of John’s gospel describes Jesus as the Word. The Word of God which brought life and light into the world. This poem of creation is one of my favorite parts of scripture. It shares the vision that although there is darkness in the world, the Light of the World is more powerful. Even though the darkness does not understand the light, the Light continues to shine.
Who was Jesus? And how did he describe his identity throughout his ministry? This fall, at Kennewick First Pres, we will study together these “I AM” statements of Jesus. These are the claims Jesus made of himself. They describe who he is and what he is about. What did it mean when Jesus said, “I am the light of the world?” Or “I am the bread of life?” What was really going on when Jesus claimed to be the “Resurrection and the Life?” These statements help us to understand who we are called to be as Christians, or “those belonging to Christ”. I hope that you will join us as we engage in this study through Jesus’ “I AM” statements this fall.
Holy God, you are here since the very beginning. We thank you for your words and that you are the Living Word. As we study, as we pray, as we worship, may we experience your presence. Shine your Light into the darkness of this world. Amen.
Hanna P. Shearer