Waynedale United Methodist Church
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Sept 4, 2016 Sermon

“I Believe…”
John 6:10 – 13, 26 – 29
Ted Jansen  September 4, 2016  Waynedale UMC
 
(I shared these four monologues.  I was located in different places in the sanctuary when I spoke.  The characters are Jesus, James, a rock climber and a person inviting others to communion.)
 
1.)        Why did you come and seek me out again, today?  Did you think that I would feed you again with some bread and fish?  Is that all I am to you, a giver of food?  I wanted to teach you and show you my power the other day.  I wanted to care for you body and soul and that is why I fed you.   
            I am more than a meal though.  I am food, yes, I am food.  I am the bread of life.  If you eat of the bread that I will give you you will never be hungry again.  Do you believe that?    
            I know that you are hungry again, at least your stomach is hungry, but I am talking about the hunger of your soul. 
            Your soul wants to be fed the living and lasting bread.  I am the bread of life, I am the one who created you and created your soul and created this inner desire for love.  I created you, along with the Father and Spirit to be in a love relationship.  
            I love you and will never withhold that love from you.  It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do, I will always love you.  It is true, each and every day.     
            I am not going to feed you bread today but I want you to do what I desire each person to do who is hungry.  I want you to believe…to believe in me, to believe that I am the Son of God and the Father sent me.  Do you believe that the Father can show His glory through me?  Do you believe that you are loved by the Father through me?   Do you believe?    (Jesus)
 
2.)        I had a unique vantage point in history, and in my life.  My perspective of Jesus has shaped my conviction of the importance of belief, of faith and how we live it.  I want people to have faith and in personal and practical ways make a difference in the lives of others. 
            I grew up with Jesus and knew him as my older brother.  I am James.  When Jesus started His ministry I was not a believer in Him as the Son of God.  I tried to get Jesus to come back home, to Nazareth, when He was out with His disciples.  But, He didn’t listen to me, or his family.  If you were me would faith in Jesus come easy to you?  It didn’t to me.  I knew Jesus as my brother. 
            Jesus traveled around the country for three years teaching, loving, healing and inspiring people to believe, to believe in Him.   It was hard for me and most times I couldn’t believe. 
            As each day went by, Jesus spoke, lived and touched others.  I could see that His life was different.  Jesus was crucified at the hands of the Romans because the Jews didn’t want Him around.  They set up on false charges on Jesus and had him beaten, whipped and killed.  
            On the third day after His death, the tomb was empty.  Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, was raised to life.  Who would have ever thought!  Jesus, the Risen one, appeared to men and women. 
            When Pentecost came the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and they were able to speak with clarity in many languages about the love of God, through the life of Jesus.  The church began and amazing things were happening.  When Jesus’ name was used miracles, new life, joy, and a desire to suffer for Jesus was evident.  The church was filled with those who believed in Jesus. 
            I came to my belief in Jesus was granted the leadership of the church in Jerusalem. I soon learned that the church was not just for Jews but for Gentiles.  It was for all who believed in Jesus Christ, the Risen one.   
            I wanted people to have genuine belief in Jesus, as the Son of God and the Son of Man, and I wanted them to serve the needs of others.  I wanted to see in the church both faith and action, belief and behavior that were equal.  It was not enough to say that you “believe.”  You have to show your faith by the personal and practical things you do for others.  Do you believe? (James)   
             
3.)        I am a rock climber.  There is this huge cliff that I have never climbed and plan to climb it today.  Do you want to join me?  It takes some preparation and equipment.    
            I will need my rope, my harness, my carabineers, and the anchors to hold the rope at the top.  The most important part of my climb, is my belayer, the person who will watch me and make sure I am safe. 
            My belayer, is the person who stays on the ground to watch me and hold on to the rope that is attached to me.  My rope is attached to my harness and the belayer will be watching me closely and see if I need a little slack in the rope or if he needs to tighten up because the move I am about to make is risky.    
            If I fall, the belayer will need to stop me by holding on the rope and making sure I don’t crash.  The belayer will allow the rope to hold me safe by the way they use the rope.    
            You see, I can get hurt when I fall, so the belayer is vital to my health and safety.   The belayer gives me confidence so that I can make risky moves.  If I slip and fall I know that I will be caught without being injured.  I will only fall a little bit. 
            I believe, I trust, I rely on my belayer.  I am a rock climber and I couldn’t do what I do without my belief in my belayer.  You need to have a person that has demonstrated the ability to be a person who cares about you, is good in watching you, and is good in all situations to make sure you will be safe.  (Rock Climber) 
 
4.)        Here we are to remember and renew our belief in the one who was sent by the Heavenly Father.  We come with the bread and juice set before us at this table. 
            We are invited to remember Him, Jesus Christ, and all that He did.  We are to remember Him and to believe, once again.  We come with our hearts open to a new beginning, a new chance, a new day that calls us to believe.  We come to believe in Him and the one who sent Him to us.
            Jesus was talking to people a day after He had fed them bread and fish.  They were full and satisfied, yet, the next day they wanted more, more bread, more fish, more food for their stomachs.  Jesus told them that the most important thing they could do was to believe in Him.   
            When we take this bread… we remember.  We remember that Jesus, the Son of God, and the Son of Man, actually walked on this earth.  He was one of us. 
            When we take this juice… we remember.  We remember that Jesus, the Son of God, and Son of Man, died on a cross.  Jesus was crucified by two criminals and that He shed His blood  so that our sins could be forgiven. 
 
            May we come with our heart open and believe, may the Lord dwell within us.  Do you believe?  (Leader of Communion)