On April 8, Rev. de Vries came and preached at Immanuel Sunday service. He expounded on the meaning of Jesus' resurrected scene as recorded in John 21, the breakfast Jesus shared with the disciples, through which "the awesome leadership of Jesus" was revealed.
The sermon extract is as following:
KEY: Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. = John 21:13
Welcome to Jesus' awesome breakfast meeting with seven of the Apostles - Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, John, and two others who are not named. This was a spontaneous breakfast meeting that caught these Apostles by surprise. It was the third time Jesus met with Apostles after Jesus resurrection, and this breakfast relates in many ways to our own time, our present needs, and each of our own current vibrant pilgrimages with the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, this meeting caught each of these Apostles by surprise:
* They did not yet feel clear direction for their lives.
* They were taking some time off, so to speak - some of them briefly returning to their earlier profession as fishermen.
* They were very slowly digesting the full significance of Jesus' resurrection and their lives ahead.
* Jesus grace-fully shows up in his wonderful pursuit of all the Apostles' full attention and commitment.
Second, the presumed leader, Peter, was in significant need for someone else to lead him. He personally showed multiple signs of aimlessness. Consider these:
* Peter did not organize the fishing trip. He just said what he wanted to do, and the others chose to join him! (v.3)
* Peter did not find any fish all night! (v.5)
* Peter did not recognize Jesus at first (v.7)
* Peter did not lead or help bringing boat in (v.8)
* Peter did not ask for help, but pulls the net by self (v.11)
Third, Jesus modeled great leadership for these Apostles and for us - and also as an example to us in 2018:
* Jesus exemplified MBWA: Management By Walking Around. Jesus' ministry of presence matters. After all, he always is Immanuel.
* Jesus exemplified sharing supernatural guidance, divine wisdom. Jesus was not a professional fisherman, but he knew where the fish were 300 feet away.
* Jesus exemplified caring leadership: He cooked breakfast for all
* Jesus exemplified servant leadership: He personally served breakfast to all.
* Jesus' choice of bread and fish for the breakfast he cooked and served also reminded these Apostles of other times Jesus served bread and fish miraculously.
This awesome story of Jesus and these Apostles at breakfast is a vivid, instructive picture of our Lord, and an exemplary model for our transformative ministry now in 2018 and going forward. May we learn all that the Spirit desires us to acquire and apply from his Holy Word.
Immanuel members enjoyed the service, the Q&A time with Dr. de Vries. William and Nicole family brought their new-born baby, Eliana, to the service and received the blessing from the Church. Members also enjoyed the potluck fellowship time, in which Vicky de Vries, the wife of Dr. de Vries brought homemade cuisine and desert to share with members.
May God bless Immanuel Sunday service with abundant grace to quench many hungry and thirsty souls in this era.