Monday's are different around the Milthaler house. It's my day off, so Reagan, Harrison and I normally go out for breakfast before dropping the oldest off at school. Today is also my beautiful wife's birthday, so the routine also included a trip to Kroger for party supplies.
Whenever I ask graduating seniors about their most significant memories of their time at the Student Union and Vineyard Cincinnati... SOS is almost always on top of the list. It's an intense week of worship, teaching and service. My prayer is that over the next several weeks we will be able to discover and discern the spiritual direction for this year's SOS. I'm going to share my notes from my morning conditioning... if you would like to add something please comment and continue the conversation.
-I love the writing style in the first chapter. Jesus is eternal, he has always been with God... even in the beginning of creation. Yet, the author doesn't simply say, "Jesus has always been". The idea is more complicated than that, yet at the same time simple.All three persons of the trinity are alluded to in the first chapter.
-John 1:9, "The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world".
-John 1:14, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
God came to Earth and dwelt among us... this is powerful stuff. The entire course of human history has been changed because God got personally involved. But, as we continue to read... he came to save his people, but we wanted nothing to do with him.
-In modern terms, John was the opening act. He is clear about the facts, he is not the Christ, he is not a prophet. The Message version uses the phrase "thunder in the desert" to describe John. He understands his role.
-John 1:30-31, The Message. "...my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God."
-Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, but jumps camp and starts to follow Jesus. Andrew is convinced that this guy is the real deal and he wants to share this information with his brother Simon Peter. Andrew brings his brother to Jesus. These young guys are attracted to Jesus... and they can't help but get their friends in the game.
-I've always seen Nathanael as the straight laced guy in this cast of characters. Jesus says, "Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit." Is that in jest? Just before this Nathanael cracks on Jesus' home town. But, Jesus tells him, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
It was a big deal when a boy was chosen by a Rabbi. If you weren't chosen, you didn't make the cut. Could it be that Nathanael was dealing with this reality and calling out to God under a fig tree? We don't know, but we do know it was a significant experience for Nathanael. He he puts his faith in Jesus, and Jesus promises that he'll expereince more amazing experiences in the future.
-Chapter two is shorter, Jesus is at a wedding and the hosts ran out of wine.
-Jesus speaks of this not being his time... how would Jesus have known when the right time was? Why would he change his timeline?
-I wonder if Jesus' power had been on display at home before this wedding. Had Mary experienced his power in Jesus' early years? Did Jesus ever use his power to clean his room, pop a zit or provide groceries when money was tight?
-180 gallons of wine... that's a lot.
-It was better than the high shelf wine that is normally served at the beginning of the party... when taste buds are more attentive. I like to say, "suck doesn't honor God". Jesus displays excellence.
-John 2:23-25 (The Message) "During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn't entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn't need any help in seeing right through them."
Those are my observations... any thoughts?