SER # 20Wa
FIRST UMC – NEBRASKA CITY
SUNDAY MAY 10TH 2020
TEXTS: JOHN 14: 1 – 14
THEME: JESUS IS THE ANSWER.
God is Good! All the time! And all the time! God is good!
Our Scripture today is John 14: 1 – 14 “Don’t be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me. My Father’s house has room to spare. If that weren’t the case, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? When I go to prepare a place for you, I will return and take you to be with me so that where I am you will be too. You know the way to the place I’m going. Thomas asked, Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way? Jesus answered, I ‘am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you have really known me, you will also know the Father. From now on you know him and have seen him. Philip said, Lord show us the Father; that will be enough for us. Jesus replied, don’t you know me, Philip even after I have been with you all this time? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, show us the Father? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I have spoken to you I don’t speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me does his works. Trust me when I say that I am in the father and the Father is in me, or at least believe on the account of the works themselves. I assure you that whoever believes in me will do works that I do. They will do even greater works than these because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask for in my name, so that the father can be glorified in the son. When you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.
Word of God written for the people of God – Thanks be to God.
The Lord’s Prayer:
On a normal year today would have been the graduation of our students at the Nebraska City Public School. On behalf of the church family I would like to tell all the graduate’s we love you and congratulation. I know the Education committee (Chris Riggin)will be catching up with you to congratulate you in person. We love you all.
This week we have been celebrating the Teachers, Nurses and mothers.
May 5th 2020 was the National day of Teachers appreciation. I would like to take a moment to appreciate all the teachers’ in our congregation today. Those who are active and those who are retired or have changed professions. I wish we are gathered in church and we would truly appreciate you. Part of who I am is what I learned from my teachers. There is something that we own that we can credit to one of our teachers. I appreciate all teachers in our State and the whole world. My extended family is made up of many teachers. I have brothers and sisters who are teachers. My best teacher is my cousin Emily who usually listens for my sermons on Sunday all the way in Kenya.
This week is also Nurses week. May 6th to 12th 2020. I would like to appreciate all the nurses in our congregation. The active and retired nurses are all appreciated today. I found some nice words in the internet about nurses (internet is wonderful) that I would like to share in honor of Nurses. “When you are a Nurse you know that everyday you are working you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.”
“A Nurse is one who opens the eyes of a new born and gently closes the eyes of a dying man. It is indeed a high blessing to be a first and last to witness the beginning and the end of life.” Finally, I found what the word NURSE means. N– is Never giving up, U – is for Understanding what your patient needs, R – is for Reliable care you provide, S – is for Saving lives, E – is for Encouraging and giving other hope.
A great nurse sees the patient, not the illness.
We thank God for all the Nurses and the work they do especially this time of Covid -19 where their own life is put on line. May our God bless them and protect them.
May 10th 2020, is the Mother’s Day here in North America. In honor of all the mothers I would like to read the Mother’s Day Prayer (see Appendix 1).
Let us now turn to our message for the day. Our theme is Jesus is the Answer. Some might jokingly ask then what is the question? Our message for the next couple of minutes is to unpack then the statement of how Jesus is the answer.
- Jesus is the answer to those seeking the WAY: It was Jesus who reminded his disciples that he was the way that would lead them to God. This is what he was explaining to Thomas and Philip that He represented the way to the Father. Those who had seen him had seen the Father. Today we live in a world of Google map using our GPS when we want to find the direction or the way. I learned that even in some rural areas you might find your way out if your lucky. Unless you are like me who one time at night I was told to turn left by my GPS and all I would see on the left was corn field. Maybe there used to be a road there but now it was corn growing. It happened to be around July in Nebraska and you know by that time corn is tall enough you can’t miss a road if there was one. If your GPS is not updated you might find yourself lost too. Why do we need to know the way? It is because we are sojourners in this world. We are just passing through. Again, Jesus was reminding his disciples that he was going ahead of them to prepare a place for them and once ready he will come for them (each at their own time) until when the rapture comes and the trumpet we sound and we will respond as our master calls us yonder. Our journey is toward heaven and Jesus has reminded us in other places that he is the gate and the gatekeeper and the only way is through him. If you are planning on journeying to heaven Jesus is the way. If you are lost Jesus says come and I will hold your hand. Why do we waste time when we know that Jesus is our way to our destination as believers why do we choose to be stubborn? This reminds me of a true preacher’s story told to us by one of my former Bishops (BP. Lawi Imathiu) who one time while visiting a friend in London had to use the underground rail transportation. He made a mistake and alighted off the train way before he arrived. So, he looked around there was nothing familiar and did not know what to do. (Those were the days when there were no cellphones you have to remember) but all along there where poles spaced all the place with words “Are you lost, ask.” All this time he was not admitting that he was lost. Finally, he went to this one pole and said, “Yes I am lost” then a voice came and ask, “where do you want to go.” Many of us are lost in this world but we are not humble enough to come to Jesus and say, “Jesus I am lost show me the way.” Many have wasted the youth in the bush trying to follow ways that will never lead them to eternal life, eternal joy, eternal happiness. Jesus is the answer for he is the way.
- Jesus is the answer to those seeking the TRUTH: The world we live in today offers all kinds of what they call the truth. To use contemporary words offering you what truly works. Truly works to deal with your weight, your debt, your mortgage, insurance, self-esteem, dating you can keep on adding to this list as you wish. I want to tell you today the real truth is Jesus answer works. It worked yesterday, it will work today, tomorrow and forever. Jesus truth never changes with time, with who you know, the season, social status or anything that human eyes can see or perceive. When Jesus tells us, he is the true vine and we are the branches he means it. So, if you are one of those who are seeking the truth in the world, we live in then Jesus is the answer. We live in a world that tries to offer shortcut to every aspect of life. some churches today try to offer shortcuts to their believers where the pastor becomes the way. They pose themselves as the only way that you can follow to have a relationship with Jesus. Jesus is the only way to God the Father and to our eternal home. You are therefore invited by Jesus to experience the truth that will set you free. Free from all kinds of wrong teachings and believes that come our way through different sources. Jesus reminded his disciples several times that he was the way to the father and those who wish to see the Father they need to know him.
- Jesus is the answer to those wanting LIFE: Life can be defined in different ways depending on what we are looking for. We have our everyday life when we wake up and do our chores. We eat we work and we sleep. That what we were meant to be when God created us to provide for ourselves and for our families. So, what does Jesus then mean when he says that he was the life? Jesus wanted to have the life and have it in fullness. That what we are reminded in John 10:10b “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fullest.” Life with Jesus means a life: Full of Joy. This is a life where all you do is driven by love of God and love of humanity. Life with Jesus, seeks for the good of others. It is not self-seeking life. if all we live for is to acquire all there is just for ourselves life will have no meaning. You have everything so what? The word of King Solomon rings a bell here when he used the words “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands hand done and all what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind nothing was gained under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:11). Solomon had to tried to acquire everything with his reach but his heart was empty. Simply put there was no life. Look at young men like Daniel of the bible who decided to go with God, even when thrown in the den of lions they were still rejoicing. Jesus is the answer to a life with no purpose. Jesus give life a meaning and purpose. The purpose of being our brothers and sisters’ keeper.
Invite Bruce and Nancy Merrill to greet the people then I will pray for them.