Pastor’s Note – February 20, 2020

In Pastor's Note by Schweitzer UMC

Friends,

This weekend we’ll wrap up our series Jesus in the Present Tense. We’ve been exploring the seven “I AM” statements of Jesus in the book of John. We’ve based this series on our new stained-glass windows in the sanctuary. I’ve had LOTS of people ask me about various aspects of the windows. If you’ve been wondering, here’s a brief overview of each of the windows and what they each represent.

I AM the bread of life. (John 6)

In a conversation about the miracle of manna and following the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus compares himself to bread. He is the source of satisfaction. He is the One who provides for us all that we need.

I AM the light of the world. (John 8)

In the midst of a lengthy conversation about spiritual blindness, Jesus calls himself the light of the world. He is the One who shows us the way to live, who we really are, and what we really need. We can depend on him.

I AM the gate. (John 10)

This particular window is less clear than some of the others. The promise of the gate is that through Jesus we have access to the abundant life (John 10:10). In this window we see the tearing of the Temple veil separating us from the presence of God (represented by the sign of the Trinity in the middle). The purple veil is edged with blood, to show us the blood of Jesus provides us access to God.

I AM the good shepherd. (John 10)

The good shepherd is the one who lays down his life. Jesus as our shepherd has sacrificed himself for us. We can trust him as a good shepherd to provide for us and lead us because of the cross. The cross is the ultimate sign of God’s love for you.

I AM the resurrection and the life. (John 11)

Jesus’ resurrection is our source for new life, full life, and eternal life. As the stone rolled away at Jesus’ resurrection we can expect the grave no longer has the final word for us. It’s not just that the empty grave gives hope for heaven, but also that even today we can begin to live into a new way of life – the life of Jesus.

I AM the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14)

This is my favorite window. Jesus as the way means he is the road – the road to the Father. It’s not just any road that we must walk, but to be with God we walk a blood-stained road. It is through the blood of Jesus that we have the way to God opened to us.

I AM the true vine. (John 15)

Our last I AM promise comes right before the cross. Jesus gives us the strategy for how to grow: be connected to Jesus. He is the One who will provide for us and strengthen us. He is our source for all that we need. Our job is to be connected to him.

I’ve really enjoyed this series and love the new windows because of what they teach us about Jesus. I hope for years to come they can be a reminder of the promises we have in Christ.

I can’t wait to see you on Sunday!

Spencer