Your Social Network
By the end of this Gospel, God has gathered to Jesus, the people who become the inner circle of Jesus' disciples, particularly Simon, whom Jesus calls Cephas, or Peter, or The Rock. There can be no doubt that God is at work here drawing people to Jesus.
First God tells John the Baptist to keep his eye open for the coming of Messiah. John tells us that God had told him that the one on whom he saw God's Spirit descend and remain would be The One. When he baptized Jesus, John said, that is what he saw. The Spirit descended and remained on Jesus. John testifies to what he heard and saw. Jesus is The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. So when John sees Jesus, John tells Andrew and another disciple -- who knows maybe John himself -- what he's seen and heard. That word, that witness to what John the Baptist has seen God doing, sends Andrew to see for himself.
When Andrew and his friend find Jesus, it even seems that Jesus is expecting them, and when Andrew quickly tells his brother Simon to come with him because he too has heard and seen God's Messiah, Jesus welcomes him as if Simon was always meant to be Peter.
So, now Jesus has three followers, all whom have come to him in much the same way we have come to Jesus. They heard someone witness to Jesus and that witness either sent us after Jesus or invited us to meet Jesus -- to come and see the man God who would take away our sins and give us eternal life. That is the Holy Spirit at work, calling us and gathering us to Jesus. But, in this story, we hear how God uses what we would now call our social network to witness to Jesus and to invite people into a relationship with Jesus.
John the Baptist tells his disciples. Andrew tells his brother Simon and so on. John's word about Jesus spreads throughout this network as friend tells family and family tells friends.
Many of you have a Facebook or Twitter or some other social network profile. Many of you regularly text or e-mail family and friends. Most of us use the phone to talk to your interconnected relationships.
We usually ask people to silence their phones, but let's use them.
If you're on Facebook or Twitter, post or tweet something that tells your friends what Jesus has done for you. Jesus loves me and has taken away my sins ... And if he can do that for me, just imagine how Jesus loves you and wants to change your life.
Or, text someone you know and tell them what you've seen or heard. In church now, and feeling God's love and wanted to share it with you. God loves you so much ... And so do I.
Or, when you get home, phone someone and tell them about how you met Jesus here in the Word, the Meal, the community of Jesus' disciples.
We have the ability to share everyday good news quickly to people near and far, and we have the ability to proclaim the good news of God in Christ just as easily. When we talk about witnessing to Jesus, we're not talk about anything more than telling the people we know who Jesus is and what God is doing in our life. The Holy Spirit uses that witness to draw people into a relationship with Jesus. That's how it worked for each of us.
By the grace of God someone told you what I am telling you right now: "You are God's beloved child. Jesus died and rose again to take away your sins, to redeem you for God's kingdom, to give you new, eternal life." And by the grace of God, you took them at their word. You believed ... and that made all the difference. Amen.
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