Lenten Lectionary Three: What have you heard?

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One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (Which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

Let’s stick with the gospel of John a little bit longer, shall we? In the events following his own recognition of Jesus as the Son of God, John the Baptist has something to say to his own disciples. He sees Jesus walking by, and says “Look! Here is the Lamb of God.” Apparently, that was all these two disciples of John needed. Perhaps it was as simple as putting a name to a face. But their own leader’s words about Jesus are enough to inspire them to not only follow Jesus, but also to go get their friends and family and bring them to this Messiah.

We in the Presbyterian tradition don’t often have the kind of conversion stories that our brothers and sisters in the Evangelical community do. I personally can’t pinpoint a single day when I “decided” to follow Christ. It kind of feels like asking me when I came to know that Dan and Beverly Freyer were my parents, I just kind of always knew that. To be sure, there were days growing up that I was closer to my folks, and a few days that I may have been farther away. But there really wasn’t a decision day. My spiritual experience has been the same with Jesus. There are days that I’m closer, and days that I am farther away.

But that said, I’m always curious what folks have heard about Jesus that has led them to the life of faith. When did you come to know that Jesus was something special, and not just the guy your Sunday School teacher kept talking about?

For me, one experience that rings like a bell in my mind is the time I went caving with my confirmation class. My youth leader Taylor was every bit the trickster that I am, and so decided that a fun way to initiate the new confirmation class was to lead them deep into a cave and then play hide and seek, without our flashlights. We crawled around in the dark for a long time, before he told us that we really hadn’t gone all that far away. But, he then lit a single candle and gave us a quick talk about Jesus as the light of the world. As a 9th grader, I decided that I was pretty tired of crawling around in the “dark,” and that I wanted to live a little bit closer to the “light.”

What stories of Jesus ring most true to you? What have you heard about this Jesus guy?

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