Jo-Ann Brant

On Sunday morning, August 17, 2014, our preacher was Jo-Ann Brant, teacher of New Testament scriptures at Goshen College and a member of our church.  The text was John 15:1-17 and her theme was Our Mutual Friend.  She described the marks and values of friendship; then she focused on the fact that each of the members of our large congregation has a mutual friend in Jesus. After her sermon we sang “What a Friend we Have in Jesus.” I wager that most members of the congregation knew this song, many from memory.  It seemed to bring a mild sense of joy to the congregation.  I heard a few “amens”. Not only is Jo-Ann a college teacher. She arranges the décor for the church podium, and used her gift in face painting for three hours during a recent church fiesta for the community.

I am pondering words attributed to Jesus:

Jesus teachingJohn said, Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name   and we told him to stop,  because he was not one of us.

Jesus said, Do not stop him, for no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,  for whoever is not against us is for us. 

It seems that Jesus did not mind competition by anyone who was doing good in his name.  And then there are these words attributed to Jesus:

sheep I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; they will become one flock with one shepherd.

What do these snippets from the teachings of Jesus mean for us today.  To me they show the size of the large heart of Jesus. The largeness of his heart requires sheep to make space for those other sheep introduced to their fold by their kind shepherd.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
This entry was posted in Biblical Interpretation, Church, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Generosity

  1. Rohrer Eshleman says:

    The TRUTH, Thank you, Rohrer

  2. Jep says:

    Keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.