First, it was my mom's birthday! Yay! Also the day when my brother - the comp sci major - had a computer crash. o.O Then, it was the day when people at the Washington University Bible Fellowship presented testimonies. That included me :D
It sounds like mom enjoyed a nice birthday dinner and celebration with my grandparents and my brother seems to have gotten his computer the part it needed, so everything worked out well^^ Also, testimony sharing was a wonderful experience!
Everyone had really great reflections and it was pretty fun. I was nervous for a bit, I will admit, but once I got up to the pulpit, I really enjoyed myself ^__^ I had about a hundred people's full attention and so I savored every word that I shared! It actually felt pretty natural - I guess I get it from my dad! It was a bit intimidating when, after the prayer, the whole building of people echoed: AMEN! o.O; But, yes, I would do it again if someone asked! I hope I was as exciting to listen to as I felt.
I want to summarize some of the key points the different speakers gave and then share mine.
-Sammy: Do not forget God and fall away from Him. It will only hurt you in the end! Where can true joy be found? Not in avoiding the source of joy.
-Esther: Learning the meaning of prayer. Is prayer really just a ritual Christians have to go through everyday? No - it is a time of forgiveness, guidance, & fellowship. [If someone thinks they need a magical way to meet God, they are mistaken.]
-Andy: [2 Samuel 6] Don't be ashamed to rejoice in the LORD. Learning to be confident and proud, not of yourself, but of God. Don't feel embarrassed to be excited about studying the Bible :p
-Adriana: Hope in that which is unseen, for the unseen things are eternal. If we focus totally on the shifting, turbulent waves of daily life, we will be so discouraged. So, take heart! There is hope and it is firm, unchanging, and freely available.
-Phil: Purpose. It is given in Genesis to Adam & Eve, also to Christians in the New Testament, and to each one individually. Isn't that feeling of "lack of purpose" one of the worst? [I admit I still am not sure whether I found mine yet^^;]
-Rocky: Living water. Leave behind those things from which you seek comfort, from which you gain joy. Find joy, comfort, and fullness in that which satisfies eternally.
-Chris: Let us be like Andrew and bring our few loaves and fish to God. He can use them to do great things. If you don't believe it, just look at the feeding of the 5,000.
-Megan (me): Let us be like Andrew, who came to Jesus and stayed with Jesus in John chapter one.
Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?"
They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"
"Come," he replied, "and you will see."
So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him.
John Chapter One is long and rich with messages. The verse which I chose comes from the latter portion of the chapter which tells of Jesus’ first disciples. The first two of these disciples were introduced to Jesus by John the Baptist. These two, one of whom was Andrew, followed after Jesus and asked where he was staying. Jesus answered them with an invitation to come and see.
And so, Andrew and his companion went with Jesus and spent the day with Him. After doing so, they came to understand that Jesus was indeed the Savior. Overjoyed, Andrew went to find his brother. He didn’t only tell his brother about Jesus, but brought his brother, Simon, to meet Jesus in person.
Now, Andrew wasn’t acting casually in all of this. He was determined to get to know Jesus and discover if this really was the Messiah, or the Christ, the Savior who had been described by the prophets and the Law of Moses. He didn’t wait around, but started following Jesus right away. Then, after he was invited to come with Jesus, he took the time to stay the whole day learning about Jesus. In all of this, his mind was on one thing only - and that was to get to know Jesus.
Earlier this year, I had a burning desire to really dig deeper into my Bible and study the character of God and of Jesus Christ. I read through the Gospels shortly before joining this congregation and Bible Study. Still, I felt that I was missing a lot in my own reading. And so, when my Bible Study instructor, Maria, offered to study the Gospel of John with me, I was very excited.
Even though I realized that there was a lot I was missing, I still assumed we would move pretty quickly. After all, I was pretty familiar with the various chapters of the Book of John. I had just recently finished reading some of them! But, in all the time that I have been here, we have only finished studying two chapters. There really is so much to learn about Jesus! I sit in Bible study and take notes non-stop for a whole hour and every minute I feel I am coming to a better understanding. If I come with a curious heart AND take the time, I find there is more to learn about Jesus than I could ever know! And these are the two keys. Coming and staying.
Now, before Bible Study, when I read through the Gospel on my own, I was like Andrew following after Jesus a little ways off. Yes, I was eager to learn and follow; but I was not taking the time to “stay with Jesus.” Through Bible study, though, I have the chance to really study the words carefully. Maria points out new perspectives or comparisons I would not have thought of. Together we can study and meditate on the Word. It has encouraged me to slow down in my study of Scripture and my life in general.
It seems clear to me now that I must not only come to Jesus to learn about Him, but also remain with Him in order to really get to know Him. I hope I can be like Andrew and continue to stay with Jesus with an even more eager heart, one which longs to be next to Jesus’ side always. I know that Jesus is willing and overjoyed to have me come and meet Him, so what am I waiting for?
One word: Come to stay with Jesus
And that was my day. :)