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 July 21, 2019

We welcome Rev. Gerry Erffmeyer who will bring God’s word for us.



The fourth "I AM"

July 14, 2019

John 10:11-21
I AM the Good Shepherd

This passage expands on the metaphor of the shepherd and the sheep, where the Lord promises, himself, to shepherd his people. Jesus contracts his shepherding with "hired hands" who don't have personal care for the sheep. Jesus cares for his sheep so deeply that he lays down his life for them - he fends off the dangerous wolf that would destroy them, putting himself between the danger and his sheep. This death qualifies him to be the good shepherd. Further, the good shepherd and his sheep are deeply connected, each recognizing the other's voice. When we speak with Jesus in prayer, he hears us; when we read his word, Jesus' Spirit touches our hearts so that we hear him speaking.  Jesus' mission is also accented: there are "other sheep" he will bring into his fold that there may be one flock with one shepherd.

Christ continues to gather his sheep through his church - calling us to live as one.
As accented in John 15, unity and mission go hand in hand.



The third "I AM"

July 7, 2019

John 10:1-10
I am the Gate

This passage picks up the metaphor of the shepherd and sheep, echoing Ezekiel 34:11-16 where the Lord promises, himself, to shepherd his people. Jesus points to the practice of Middle Eastern shepherds who don't drive the sheep but lead them out to pasture, calling each by name (John 10:3-4); the calling by name evokes the tender and personal relationship of Jesus to his sheep. Jesus' metaphor shifts a bit in John 10:7-10, where Jesus is the gate for the sheep. He is the one through whom the sheep will have access to the safety of God's fold and the one through whom they will forage in the pasture. He gives life to the full (John 10:10). What Jesus says here anticipates his saying "I am the way"; Christ opens the way to eternal life. However, that life is an abundant life, a "full life" that brings renewed vitality and purpose (Isaiah 40:31), as well as joy and peace (Galatians 5:22).



The 6th Sign
The 6th Sign

June 30, 2019

John 9:1-41
Confessing Our Blindness, Receiving Insight

In this story, the man born blind is committed to telling the truth of his own experience. As he expresses what he knows, he sees the truth about Jesus with increasing clarity. The man moves from physical blindness to spiritual vision, seeing and believing in Jesus as the Son of God. In contrast, the religious leaders who see everything perceive less and less of the truth, refusing to see what Christ makes plain, falling into a condemnable blindness. For us, who have been given much knowledge and insight, we need to confess our spiritual blindness so that we might see Jesus, in whom all truth hangs together.



The second "I AM"

June 23, 2019

John 8:12-30
I am the Light of the World

Jesus is in Jerusalem at the Feast of the Tabernacles, commemorating God's presence with his people and his guidance of the people to the Promised Land. The Mishnah provides a description of a light ceremony during the festival. Four large stands, placed in the court of women, held four golden bowls filled with oil. When they were lit at night (so the rabbis said), all Jerusalem was illumined. As Jesus is teaching in the treasury (8:20) located within the same courtyard, he stands amidst the Olympic-type flames and says he is the light (not only of Jerusalem but) of the whole world!

God's first creation was light (Genesis 1:3). God led the Israelites in the desert with light (Exodus 13:21-22; Psalm 78:14), and they were taught to sing, "The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?" (Psalm 27:1). God's wisdom is a light that illumines his people, Psalm 119:105: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path".  John says: "God is a light; in him there is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5). If Jesus is the light, walking "in the light" is a description of discipleship (1:7).

Jesus is the true light from God, guiding us to God's promised land, his kingdom.



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    10415 S. Kedvale Avenue
    Oak Lawn, IL  60453
    Phone: (708) 636-2848
    Fax: (708) 636-2847

    Office Hours: 9:00am-1:00pm  M thru F

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