Year C, Easter 4, 2019 – Jesus Knows Me, This I Love
Greetings! Welcome to the show! On my drive to worship every Sunday, I pass a sign board for a Lutheran church. I don’t usually remember what is posted there, and it’s not because I’m driving too fast or are too distracted to see it. The saying doesn’t always connect with me – except for one Sunday years ago. That day, I saw what has become the title for this episode above, and it grabbed me for two reasons. The first is that it reverses the verbs in the old children’s hymn, which caused some cognitive gear grinding. Once I got that done, the second reason washed over me. “Jesus knows me.” I don’t have to explain anything to Jesus about myself or evade anything or present my best self or justify a decision or do anything other than be me. My husband knows me pretty well, but he doesn’t have access to my oldest memories or deepest recesses. I’m not even certain that *I* do, honestly. But Jesus does. The passages for today have been selected to show us how Jesus shepherds his people – by knowing them completely, calling to their inner selves, seeing their persistent errors, and loving them still.
Follow this link to discover what we did with these passages three years ago! We gave up on the Psalm passages fairly quickly as we started this project, so we only have ideas for Acts, John, and Revelation.
Smarts of the Week – [01:58]
We take a few minutes to talk about our two smarts of the week in the episode, and here you can download our worksheets for each of them.
This week’s texts:
John 10:22-30 – [05:39]
The fourth Sunday in Easter is “Good Shepherd Sunday,” traditionally. The Lectionary selects passages from John 10 where Jesus speaks about his role as shepherd. This year, the connection is not as obvious as other years except that he informs his opponents that they do not trust his deeds because they do not trust him. For BODY smart, consider how what we do bears our personal imprint. For some fun, play Follow the Leader!
For SELF smart, consider how confirmation bias affects our decision to trust or not trust someone. Allow your folks some time to contemplate what factors help them decide whether someone is trustworthy? See the worksheet for a chart (chart? MATH smart bonus!).
- BODY smart – [07:28]
- Ideas for a simple craft
- SELF smart – [10:19]
- Confirmation bias often determines believability
Revelation 7:9-17 – [14:02]
For SELF smart, consider a time when you were so impressed by someone that you stopped in your tracks to admire their ability. Was it a sports figure? A singer? A musician or someone you have always held in high regard? The people robed in white are celebrating the Lamb in this manner. Allow some time for people to consider the attributes of the Lamb and their own responses.
For BODY smart, illustrate the mass of people by showing images of large crowds. The link below has several options you might use. The provisions in this hymn of praise connect with the promise of provision in Psalm 23. It is possible the white robed multitude are recovering from their ordeal in the presence of the Lamb. Think about team meetings in locker rooms or the cast party after a final performance.
- BODY smart – [19:02]
- SELF smart – [15:41]
Psalm 23 – [24:19]
The Psalmist alludes to a solitary time of trial when YHWH provided comfort and solace. For a SELF smart illustration and special effect, consider times of being alone in a wilderness, either literally or figuratively.
I’m adding a bit of MUSIC smart for a BODY smart special effect; try to interpret the hymn My Shepherd Will Supply My Need through dance! I suggest this particular hymn because I really love the melody and the lyrics. To demonstrate what we need, fill a grab bag with some modern “necessities” and then eliminate them until you come to basic provisions. Be certain to point out the psalmist affirms God comes through on them daily.
- BODY smart – [24:38]
- SELF smart – [30:11]
- Here’s a video on the topic of confronting the wilderness alone.
- Here’s an article about the benefits of being alone in the wilderness. Here’s another.
- Here’s info about a show called Alone in the Wilds.
- Here’s a page about privileged white people paying to go meditate in the wilds to get connected with themselves.
Acts 9:36-43 – [31:53]
For SELF smart, allow your people to spend some time pondering the miracle in this passage. David has some links to different articles written about belief in miracles; we linked to two of them below. Is it important to believe they literally happened? Is it more important to see how they motivated others to belief? Is belief in miracles separate from or intrinsic to belief in Jesus? Can disciples still perform miracles?
For BODY smart, demonstrate objects made by loving hands. Do you have paraments, banners, stoles, art work, or other objects in your worship space made by someone and given to the church? Who was that person, and how is their personality evident in what they made? Dorcas made clothes out of her great compassion for widows; do you all have any clothing ministries for people who are in need in your area?
- BODY smart – [37:48]
- SELF smart – [33:09]
- an article about miracles written by Richard Gunderman, Chancellor’s Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University
- and one from Psychology Today
- The worksheet has two other links to papers that skew toward obvious bias for and against. Feel free to read them and make your own determination!