Today's Lectionary Text
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
As a person who was raised in a Christian family, who went to church nearly every Sunday growing up, I have been fascinated by the stories in scripture of the calling of the disciples. When I was little it was difficult to comprehend a time almost 2,000 years earlier when people didn’t know about Jesus – after all, a couple of years was a long time for me when I was 5 or 6.
Everyone I knew went to church, or at least all my family, family friends and my school friends did. That was all the larger my world was as an elementary student.
I was in junior high and high school when I developed a sense of the biblical world and the immensity and diversity of our world: I was starting to read the Bible for myself, developing the ability to think abstractly, and becoming more aware of other places on our planet. Hearing about the Vietnam War on the news and having a foreign exchange student in my grade broadened my understanding of other places in the world.
But I still wondered: what was it about Jesus that caused those who became disciples to drop everything in their lives and follow Jesus? To leave fishing nets, family and home behind? Even more, I wondered if I would have done the same had I been there.
I have pondered this many times in my life, because doing so causes me to reflect on why it is that I am a Christian, why it is that I have never had a period in my life when I separated myself from a church, and why it is that I am a pastor today. Unless I know why it is that I believe in and follow Jesus, I will have difficulty bringing someone else to Christ. Because of this reflection over many years, I can say with confidence today: “God, you are my God.”
And I am able to believe deep within my being that God says to me: “I have called you by name and you are mine!”
-Rev. Nancy Lambert
Director of Clergy Excellence
Prayer for Reflection
God of steadfast love, who has known me even before I was aware of You, lead me to the assurance of your presence in my life and the confidence to know that You love me, even me. Amen.
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color