SCRIPTURE: John 17:1 (TM) – larger reading John 17:1-19
Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said: Father, it's time. Display the bright splendor of your Son So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor
C.H. Spurgeon, first words in the pulpit of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London. - I would propose that the subject of the ministry of this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshipers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, "It is Jesus Christ." My venerated predecessor, Dr. Gill, has left a [theological heritage] admirable and excellent in its way. But the [legacy] to which I would pin and bind myself forever, God helping me,...is Jesus Christ, who is the arm and substance of the gospel, who is in Himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth.
I’m proud to be a United Methodist; I’m proud to be the pastor of the Family of God UMC; I’m proud to be a husband; I’m proud to be a father; I’m proud to be a grandfather; I’m proud to an American … but none of this matters more than being a follower of Jesus Christ.
When placed next to the relationship with Jesus Christ everything else pales. As I have stated often, much to the dismay of some, it is not important that the church I am privileged to serve survives, it is not important that my beloved denomination survives, and it isn’t even important if my country survives… but it is crucial that the message of Jesus Christ continues to be proclaimed regardless of the cost – personal or otherwise.
We are the church of Jesus Christ which finds expression through a beautiful body of Christ called Family of God, through a powerful denomination called United Methodist, through a country of freedom … but first and foremost we are the church of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ had everything, but emptied himself. He could claim all the rights and privileges of being the Son of God, but emptied himself. Jesus could call down the angels of heaven to stand in the gap for him, but emptied himself. He had power of the Holy Spirit, but emptied himself.
His one and only desire was to show the splendor that was his Holy Father. He wanted nothing more than to draw attention to the glory that is Gods. He wanted nothing more than to bring people into the loving and grace-filled presence of the Almighty. Nothing else mattered. Such is the glory that is Jesus’.
Can we do anything less?
As Jesus was lifted up he drew all people to you, Loving Father. Help us to do the same as we place everything under your Kingship!