SERMON TITLE: “Lift Up Christ”
SERMON TEXT: John 3:1-17 (also read Romans 10:5-15)
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: March 11, 2018, at First UMC
On Thursday and Friday, I was gone to Denver for a meeting of the Rocky Mountain Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits. As the chair of that board, I opened Friday’s meeting with a devotion based on Psalm 105. The first verses of that psalm say, “O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known God’s deeds among the peoples. Sing to God, sing praises to him; tell of all God’s wonderful works.” After reading those verses, I invited the members of the board to introduce themselves and share something wonderful that God was doing in their personal life or the ministry of their church. Of course, within a group of 15 people, there were some worries and concerns that were weighing down heavily, and some of those were shared too. But, I think all of us were encouraged to hear the good things that God is doing. As we heard everyone’s testimony of God’s wonderful works, both we and God were lifted up.
In today’s gospel reading from John 3, we heard about Moses who lifted up a serpent in the wilderness—which, by the way, was a good thing that brought about healing for the people who were being bitten by snakes. And we also read in verse 14 that the Son of Man must be lifted up. It’s that latter part I want to focus on today. In and through God’s love, God lifted Jesus up in order to save the world. With that divine purpose in mind, let’s look closely this morning at John chapter 3 and consider why we, also, should do our best to lift up Christ.