Do you love Jesus? - 29 August 2014

Stephan Hoffman

The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.   John 21:17

To eat with someone was very important during the time that Jesus lived on earth. Sharing a meal was indicative of being part of the community. People, who had a good relationship with each other, ate together. Jesus makes a point of eating with sinners and tax collectors and in so doing shows something of God's gracious attitude.  Before the crucifixion, Jesus also ate for the last time the Passover meal with the disciples.

Now after the resurrection Jesus again eats with his disciples. Once again he showed he was the host by breaking the bread.  Jesus shows in that way that his relationship with the disciples has been restored. Although they left him in the lurch and fled when he was in trouble, he comes to live in communion with them again.

Even Peter, who denied him three times, receives the opportunity to three times affirm his faith and love, even though he may not have understood what was happening. Peter was given the instruction to feed and care for Jesus' flock; this is the way in which he can show his love for Jesus.

We all stumble and sometimes fall, but God restores the relationship with us through Jesus Christ. God wants to live in fellowship with us. He wants to be part of all our lives, where we work, play or eat. God’s love which bridges the borders between us and him also makes it possible for us to answer in love.

We can also show our love for the Lord by looking after, being good to and caring for other people.

Prayer:  Almighty God, we thank you that through Jesus Christ you want to live in communion with us. Thank you that you do not leave us to our own devices, but that your love bridges the boundaries between us.  Help us to respond with gratitude to your grace and to love you in return with our whole heart, mind and all our strength. Grant that we will show your love to other people. Amen

Peace be with you - 28 August 2014

Stephan Hoffman

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’  John 20:19-21

Early in the morning the women and the disciples saw that the tomb was empty. Jesus appeared to Mary, but the disciples had not yet seen him. The disciples gathered together that evening. They were afraid of the Jews, and locked the doors. Jesus came and stood among them. He is not bound by space and time.

Jesus' words: "Peace be with you!" is the first time in history since the fall, completely true. True peace is cultivated between God and man. The broken relationship is restored through Jesus Christ. Every sinner can now go in faith to God and be completely forgiven.

 Jesus shows his hands and his side to the disciples, so that they can see that it is really Him that has risen. It is Jesus who was crucified and buried, and is now living that stands before them. Jesus sends his disciples into the world as the Father had sent him.

These frightened disciples would later through the work of the Spirit, with great courage and power, declare that Jesus is the risen Lord. They would go out into the world and share the good news with everybody that Jesus is alive, even if they are rejected, humiliated or killed for it.

Can you see that the living Lord Jesus Christ is also with you? He rose, conquering the boundaries of earth and death.  He came to make peace between you and God. He lives and you will also live with him for all eternity!

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are with me. Thank you that you live and that I will live with you forever. Guide and strengthen me through the working of your Spirit, so that I will not be afraid, but boldly share the good news of your resurrection with everyone!  Amen

Het jy Jesus lief? - 29 Augustus 2014

Stephan Hoffman

Jesus vra hom die derde keer: “Simon seun van Johannes, het jy My lief?” Petrus het bedroef geword omdat Jesus hom die derde keer gevra het: “Het jy My lief?” en hy antwoord Hom: “Here, U weet alles. U weet dat ek U liefhet.” Hy sê toe vir hom: “Laat my skape wei.  Johannes 21:17

Om saam met iemand te eet, was baie belangrik in die tyd waarin Jesus op aarde geleef het. Om saam te eet het gedui op gemeenskap met mekaar. Mense wat in ‘n goeie verhouding met mekaar staan, het saam geëet. Jesus maak ‘n punt daarvan om saam met sondaars en tollenaars te eet en op hierdie wyse iets van God se genadige gesindheid te toon. Voor die kruisiging eet Jesus ook vir oulaas die paasmaal saam met die dissipels.

Na die opstanding eet Jesus weer saam met sy dissipels. Hy tree weereens op as die meester van die maaltyd deur die brood te breek. Jesus toon hiermee dat sy verhouding met die dissipels weer herstel is. Al het hulle Hom in die steek gelaat en weggehardloop toe Hy in die nood was, kom leef Hy weer in gemeenskap met hulle.

Selfs Petrus wat Hom drie maal verloën het, kry die geleentheid om weer drie maal sy trou en liefde te beloof, al verstaan hy dalk nie self wat hier gebeur nie. Petrus kry die opdrag om die kudde van die Here op te pas en te versorg, dit is die manier waarop hy sy liefde vir Jesus kan toon.

Ons val en struikel almal soms, maar God het deur Jesus Christus die verhouding met ons kom herstel. God wil in gemeenskap met ons leef. Hy wil deel wees van ons ganse lewe, daar waar ons werk, speel of eet. God se liefde wat die grense tussen ons en Hom oorbrug, maak dit vir ons moontlik om ook in liefde te antwoord.

Ons kan ook ons liefde teenoor die Here toon, deur vir ander mense goed te wees, hulle op te pas en te versorg.

Gebed: Almagtige God, ons dank U dat U deur Jesus Christus weer in gemeenskap met ons wil lewe. Dankie Here dat U ons nie oorlaat aan onsself nie, maar dat u liefde die grense tussen ons en U oorbrug het. Help ons om met dankbaarheid te antwoord op u genade en U ook terug lief te hê met ons hele hart, verstand en al ons kragte. Gee dat ons u liefde sal uitleef teenoor ander mense.  Amen

Vrede vir julle - 28 Augustus 2014

Stephan Hoffman

 

Daardie Sondagaand was die dissipels bymekaar. Alhoewel die deure gesluit was omdat hulle bang was vir die Jode, het Jesus gekom en tussen hulle gaan staan en vir hulle gesê: “Vrede vir julle!”  Nadat Hy dit gesê het, wys Hy sy hande en sy sy vir hulle. Die dissipels was baie bly toe hulle die Here sien. “Vrede vir julle!” sê Hy weer vir hulle. “Soos die Vader My gestuur het, stuur Ek julle ook.” Johannes 20:19-21

Die vroue en dissipels het vroeg die oggend gesien dat die graf leeg is. Jesus het aan Maria verskyn, maar die dissipels het hom nog nie gesien nie. Die dissipels is die aand bymekaar. Hulle is bang vir die Jode en sluit al die deure. Jesus kom staan egter tussen hulle. Hy is nie gebonde aan ruimte en tyd nie.

Jesus se woorde: “Vrede vir julle!” is vir die eerste keer in die geskiedenis sedert die sondeval, volkome waar. Ware vrede is bewerk tussen God en mens. Die gebroke verhouding is herstel deur Jesus Christus. Elke sondaar kan in geloof nou na God toe gaan en volkome vergifnis ontvang.

Jesus wys sy hande en sy sy vir die dissipels, sodat hulle kan sien dat dit werklik Hyself is wat opgestaan het. Dit is Jesus wat gekruisig is en begrawe is, wat nou lewend hier voor hulle staan. Jesus stuur sy dissipels na die wêreld toe soos wat die Vader Hom gestuur het.

Hierdie bang dissipels sou later deur die werking van die Gees, met groot waagmoed en krag verkondig dat Jesus die opgestane Heer is. Hulle sou uitgaan in die wêreld en die goeie nuus dat Jesus lewe met almal deel, selfs as hulle daaroor verwerp, verneder of doodgemaak sou word.

Kan jy raaksien dat die lewende Here Jesus Christus ook by jou is? Hy het opgestaan, het die grense van die wêreld en selfs die grense van die dood oorwin. Hy het vrede kom maak tussen jou en God. Hy lewe en jy sal ook saam met Hom lewe tot in ewigheid!

Gebed: Here, dankie dat U nou hier by my is. Dankie dat U leef en dat ek ook saam met U sal lewe tot in ewigheid. Lei en sterk my tog deur die werking van u Gees, dat ek nie bang sal wees nie, maar met vrymoedigheid die goeie nuus van u opstanding met almal sal deel! Amen

Everything has its time - 11 November 2013

Riélle Heine

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens … He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:1,11a

The concept of time always crops up somewhere in our daily conversations. What is shocking is that it is mostly mentioned in a negative context.  Something along the line of "I'm so busy, I did not have time" or "Everything is so rushed " or "Look how the time has flown!"

Time, which was intended as a gift from God, has become our boss. Instead of being in control of our time, it feels as if time is a skateboard under our feet that we’re desperately clinging to, trying to stay on top! Many things we plan down to the last detail, but when it comes to time, we carry on indifferently.

Too often we think like this about time:

Everything can wait until later,

Everything in this world can be postponed

- until I feel like doing it

- until I feel better

- until my children are older, or out of the house

- until I’ve worried myself sick about it

... until it's too late.

Maybe there’s a letter, an email, a phone call or a visit you’ve been putting off for weeks - maybe now is the time to do it. Maybe today is the time to encourage, to forgive, to speak or to remain silent. Perhaps the time has now come to go back and make amends.

The other day I found this English poem tucked away between some cards I had stashed away (I wish I knew who the author was):

When I have time

there is a poem to be written,

a song to be sung

When I have time

there is a child to be led

a prayer to be said.

When I have time

I’ll tell you a story,

I’ll visit a friend.

Alas, time is gone –

The poem’s unwritten,

The song unsung

The child is a man

grown up unled

The prayer, ah! the prayer,

it went unsaid.

The story is ended.

Prayer: Lord, let me realise anew each day that time is a great gift from you. Help me not to postpone things. Help me to plan my time, to grab hold of the hours and use them. Amen

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