Every morning I will be meeting with them and share some devotional thoughts so that that they have a time with the Lord and be ready for all the missional activities prepared for them. Yesterday they had a full pack day and like every good breakfast they, well, we need to feed on God’s Word!
Actually, the theme for our time together is “Encountering Jesus“! Today we encountered Jesus, we looked at the story of the Nathanael the Young, Proud and Prejudice!
I am always fascinated with Nathanael, he went from being so judgemental about the city of Nazareth and its people to become a follower of Jesus. Even Jesus was moved by how fast he was a different man after meeting Jesus.
Prejudice is a bitter poison, it can masquerade in religious ways which makes it intolerable! I remember some years ago working in North Belfast planting the Living Room Church, I was the visiting speaker in a Presbyterian Church not that far from where we were ministering. I love the people of North Belfast but this time I was confronted by a strong religious prejudice. I finished the sermon, last hymn and I walked to the front door to greet people and to shake their hands as they leave.
It is customary in many churches to do this and I don’t like it, you are totally exposed to the most unhelpful criticism. It is like one verbal punch that you are not prepared for, and it does not give you the time to respond because you have to carry on shaking hands! I had that experience in this church and it went something like this:
“Thank you for your sermon, it was lovely, now let me tell you something: “thank God we are not like those people you are working with”. The amazing people that I was reaching with the love of Jesus were insulted! I was so upset!
Nathanael transformation has always baffled me, this encounter is like no other, it is Jesus encountering Nathanael. Jesus saw him and said “Here is a true Israelite”, what a compliment! Jesus saw beyond Nathanael pride and prejudice, Jesus saw in Nathanael his true identity, a son!
So, when Jesus sees you, what does he see? What does he say? He may promise you, just like Nathanael to see heaven open!