Welcome to our congregation! Open Arms presents basic Christian faith. If you are investigating Christianity, or if you are a follower of Christ who prefers contemporary worship, these services are designed especially for you. While we use up-to-date language, music, and drama, our Bible-based message is as eternal as the revelation of God's love through the life of Jesus.
John 1:29-34 CEB
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is really greater than me because he existed before me.’ Even I didn’t recognize him, but I came baptizing with water so that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified, “I saw the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove, and it rested on him. Even I didn’t recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit coming down and resting is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and testified that this one is God’s Son.”
This meditation follows the format of Daily Bread, a Community of Christ resource that is available for daily meditation. It includes a short message, a short excerpt from the Daily Prayer for Peace, a spiritual discipline, and a statement of a peace covenant.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.” The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” —John 1:29–36 NRSV
Among my favorite stories from the Gospels are those of Jesus calling his first disciples: Peter, Andrew, James, and John. These men recognized Jesus as someone who was important, someone for whom they should give up their lives and follow, someone whose disciples they should become.
Every time I hear these stories, it brings back the memory of the two disciples who knocked at the door of our family home when I was about 12 years old. I remember them inviting us to “come along and see” what was happening at the new church near where I lived. I remember my unwillingness to go.
I remember their perseverance offering the invitation again at a later time, and I responded positively, going along “to see” and attend a vacation Bible school. I still go along “to see” but now as a disciple myself offering the invitation.
Today, almost 50 years later, I am a disciple of Jesus because of the two people who knocked at the door of our family home. I am a disciple because of the congregation in England who nurtured me and the Holy Spirit who has continued to be a constant presence.
As disciples, we are charged with the task of offering the invitation, not just once, but again and again. We must allow the Holy Spirit to touch the lives of those to whom the invitation has been given, and then we will see people responding with the words “Here am I, Lord, send me.”
--David Waring of Clay Cross, Derbyshire, England
May I see your light in all life.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Light of God
Close your eyes, and become centered with your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, "The light of God is in all things." The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God's healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God's light, and it lives in you.