While You Were Sleeping

Micah 5:2-5a

2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,

are only a small village among all the people of Judah.

Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you,

one whose origins are from the distant past.

3 The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies

until the woman in labor gives birth.

Then at last his fellow countrymen

will return from exile to their own land.

4 And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength,

in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.

Then his people will live there undisturbed,

for he will be highly honored around the world.

5 And he will be the source of peace.

Bethlehem – Over the last several weeks, Pastor Barry has been doing a series called The Little Town of Bethlehem during Advent. For this morning’s Christmas message I again want to focus on this little town. There really wasn’t much important about Bethlehem — this little Judean village lies 6 miles south of Jerusalem — the big important city. Bethlehem is important in its own right however. The entry at Wikipedia has this to say and reminds us of several of the messages of the past few weeks:

Bethlehem, located in the “hill country” of Judah, may be the same as the Biblical Ephrath,[12] which means “fertile”: There is a possible reference to it as Beth-Lehem Ephratah.[13] It is also known as Beth-Lehem Judah,[14] and “the city of David”.[15] It is first mentioned in the Tanakh and the Bible as the place where the Abrahamic matriarch Rachel died and was buried “by the wayside” (Gen. 48:7). Rachel’s Tomb, the traditional grave site, stands at the entrance to Bethlehem. According to the Book of Ruth, the valley to the east is where Ruth of Moab gleaned the fields and returned to town with Naomi. Bethlehem is the traditional birthplace of David, the second king of Israel, and the place where he was anointed king by Samuel.[16] It was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his warriors brought him water when he was hiding in the cave of Adullam.[17]

It is Bethlehem where Jesus was going to be born — the long awaited promise. If a king was to be born surely he wouldn’t be born in Bethlehem. So, many years ago, a child was born, his name is Jesus and as we are told in Matthew’s gospel, he will save his people his people from their sins. Yesterday, I began working on a sermon for the Sunday following Christmas. I’ve been listening to the song by Casting Crowns, While You Were Sleeping. Mark Hall wrote it while trying to rework the classic Christmas carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem. The people of Israel were sleeping when Jesus came to earth so long ago in Bethlehem. In fact only a few people were even aware that Jesus had arrived on earth. There was Mary and Joseph, those are the obvious ones. Then there are the shepherds who were out in the fields around Bethlehem. I love the way the movie The Nativity Story depicts the shepherds watching their sheep. The angels of heaven came to announce the good news to the shepherds and then there are those curious wise men. Again, I love the different perspective that was presented in the movie. We don’t know when the wise men arrived, but they came to worship this newborn king. The rest of the world, as far as we can tell, was clueless.

For the most part, those in that part of the world were more concerned with the oppression of the Romans and the crazy head of state Herod. Rome was in complete charge of its territories and it was quick to squelch any uprisings. This is in part what made Herod so nervous. According to the biblical narrative, not even Herod was aware of what was going on at least until the arrival of the wise men in Jerusalem. After all, if a king was to be born to Israel, wouldn’t he be born in the capital city — the religious center of Israel? It was only after Herod had his scribes and wise men check the ancient writings did Herod discover what was happening in the shadow of the capital.

Why were so many sleeping? We do know that it had been 400 years since God last spoke to the people of Israel through the prophets. Perhaps the people had been lulled into complacency because of the silence. Hasn’t that ever happened to you? When things become quiet, we get sleepy, perhaps that’s what happened to those who were waiting for the promised one — they became spiritually sleepy. They began to go through the motions. Look at the Pharisees — they had all kinds of activity — the followed all the laws — they made sure everyone else was following the laws — they knew the scriptures and yet, all of this happened right underneath their noses. Yes, as Jesus became known, several Pharisees and others from the spiritual counsels began to discover who this Jesus was and God even opened the eyes of several, like Nicodemus and Joseph of Aramethia. Most, however, remained spiritually blind and spiritually asleep to the fact that Jesus had come to earth.

The question that I have for you is, “Are you awake to the true meaning of Christmas or are you sleeping as well?” As I mentioned several weeks ago during the First Sunday of Advent, not only was Jesus promised to come the first time, but Jesus has promised that he would return for those who believe him and call on his name. This second coming or Second Advent is not something that you will want to sleep through. Just like those at the time of Jesus’ birth who were sleeping to his coming, there will be those who will be sleeping when he comes back. I would hope that you are not among those who are sleeping when he returns.

In Matthew 25, we have a powerful parable about what happens to those who are sleeping when Jesus returns.

1″At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6″At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

7″Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

9″ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10″But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11″Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’

12″But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

13″Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

And so it can be for us – we can be too busy for Jesus and we can completely miss him. I have enjoyed this Advent and Christmas more than I have in a long time. Even Pam has really enjoyed this particular Advent and Christmas season. One of the reasons for me is that this is the first time in ten years that I haven’t worked in a retail setting during Advent or Christmas. I feel spiritually alive this Christmas. Retail has a way of taking the fun out of Christmas and our Savior’s birth. It can make you spiritually sleepy. Another thing that I always will guard people against is getting too busy at Christmas. It’s been a unique Christmas for our family — It’s been a simple Christmas for our family — Perhaps that’s why I feel so alive and awake this year. I really want to encourage you not to miss out — not to sleep through Christmas this year. Will you be sleeping our awake this year?

Jesus gives each one of us an opportunity to respond to him. This morning Jesus may be calling you to turn your life over to him – to become spiritually awake. We don’t know when Jesus is coming again. Scripture makes that plain. I want to encourage you to have a relationship with the one person who is more important than any other.

The praise team is coming to sing a wonderful song of the season, “Silent Night, Holy Night.” As we are singing I encourage you to think about where you are spiritually. If Jesus is calling you, the altar is open for you to seek him here. Come now and offer your life to him.

Following God’s Call

[video] [audio]

It seems like this week has been a week of reflection. As most of you know, I have been blogging for almost three years. What is a blog, you ask? A blog or weblog is a website that allows a person to share thoughts, pictures, videos, or other things. Some use it as a business tool. While others use it for personal thoughts and there are blogs everywhere in-between. My writings range from personal thoughts to devotional thoughts to updates about the ministry. This week of reflection started on Sunday night as I posted my thoughts about the day – which ranged from what happened at church, to the cold weekend, to the Eagles losing to the Cardinals. On Monday morning, I post a video from a song that has been speaking to me lately. The song I posted this week was Nichole Nordeman’s “Legacy.” The lyrics speak to what life really comes down to at the end.

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy.

This week was a huge week in the life of our country. We inaugurated a new president on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we commemorated the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. There was the annual pro-life march in Washington. These events are now history. These events are now making our history. One of the things that we need to realize is that we are always making history.

During the election, Pam was very sick. When she finally felt a little better, she watched a program on the History Channel about our presidents. Throughout the course of our country’s history we have had notable presidents and presidents who after their presidency, faded into obscurity. What will be the legacy or our current president? It really remains to be seen. I encourage you to pray for him. He has a tough job – he has many critics – he will make unpopular decisions – he is not perfect – who of us is. There are already some decisions he has made that I do not support. As I pray for him and his team, I pray that the right thing will be done, not the right thing for the party or the country, but the right thing in the sight of God. Last week in Sunday School, the key verse was, “O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” That is my prayer for President Obama.

Here’s the point – only history will be able to tell the story or legacy if you will of this White House administration. Will it be a famous story or will it be an infamous story? Only history will tell.

Most of you know the story of Jonah. Here was a prophet of Israel. God came to Jonah and told him to go to the people of Nineveh and tell them that God was bringing His judgment on them. Jonah decided to go the opposite direction. Let’s just say that there was no love lost between Israel and Nineveh. Niveveh was a journey over land. Jonah decided to get into a boat and head for Tarshish, which is somewhere in present day Spain. It wasn’t long before God had a plan to change Jonah’s mind. God sent a terrific storm that threatened to sink the ship. The short story is that Jonah was thrown overboard and the storm calmed. Not too long after that, Jonah was swallowed by a big fish. Jonah was in the belly of the big fish for three days, before crying out to the Lord to save him. When he did, God caused the big fish to vomit Jonah onto dry land. Jonah 3 tells us what happened next.

1 Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.”

3 This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. 4 On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” 5 The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.

God was pleased that the people reacted as they reacted and changed what was about to happen – he decided to let them live. Jonah 3:10 tells us:

10 When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.

Now, you would think that Jonah would be please with this. God had offered Jonah a second chance at life after disobeying a command. The Ninevites were being offered the same second chance. Jonah sat outside the city awaiting the destruction and the destruction never came. He even got mad at God for being a God of compassion. The story of Jonah ends abruptly – Jonah left outside the city after getting a reprimand from God. Jonah could have had a wonderful legacy. In fact, despite the fact that Jonah originally disobeyed God, he could have still turned it around. Unfortunately, Jonah was not able to extend the grace, mercy and compassion that was given to him by God to the people of Nineveh, so he just sulked and had a pity party. This is an example of leaving a legacy that wasn’t as good as it could have been.

Can we find a better example of leaving a legacy? One place that can be found is in Mark 1:14-20:

14 Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

16 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 17 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 18 And they left their nets at once and followed him.

19 A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. 20 He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.

What was the legacy of Jesus? Jesus was preaching God’s Good News. What was that? It was that the time that God had promised was here – the Kingdom of God is near – repent of your sins and believe the Good News!

Jesus was obedient to the Father through the incarnation. Jesus came to give us life when we repent of our sins and we believe the Good News that Jesus came – Jesus died for our sins– Jesus rose to give us victory over our sins – Jesus ascended – and Jesus is coming back again for those who are living the life God has called us to live. It’s interesting – Jesus is the Good News. Jesus left an enduring legacy.

So what about the rest of this passage? Jesus starts calling his disciples. In the culture of the day, each teacher (Jesus was considered a Rabbi, which means teacher) had an inner group of disciples – those who lived, ate, and breathed with their teacher. Jesus is beginning to select men that he will spend the next three years investing, rebuking, and teaching. The purpose of selecting these disciples was so that Jesus’ legacy could be continued. On this particular day, Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galilee. He sees Simon (whom we also know as Peter) and his brother Andrew. He calls out to them to follow. Peter and Andrew were fishermen. They were earthy men. They lived off the sea. They were uneducated men – probably learning the trade from their father. Fishermen probably weren’t high on up on the social ladder of the day – and yet Jesus picks two fishermen to be his disciples and to carry on His legacy. Not only that, but just a little bit down the shore, he picks out two more fishermen – James and John, the sons of Zebedee. Their nicknames were “The Sons of Thunder.” They were loud and boisterous men. They were prone to disagreement. These are the people in whom Jesus entrusted his legacy? The rest of his picks weren’t much better. If we were to look at the disciples one by one, we would see that they were ordinary people like you and me. Here’s the kicker – Jesus called them anyway. Here is where we can find a real contrast between Jonah’s story and his call and the call of the disciples. Jonah was a prophet – he was called by God to speak the word of the Lord. He had already been called and yet when God gave him a specific command he went in the opposite direction.

Then there are the disciples – Peter, Andrew, James, and John. These men were called by Jesus and at least as this scripture records it, they immediately left their nets and followed Jesus. Think about what that means. The only thing these four fishermen knew was fishing. But did you notice how Jesus called them. Jesus said come follow me and I will make you fishers of people. Jesus came down to their level and called them into ministry. Who knows the financial risks that the disciples took to follow Jesus and yet they did. Were the disciples perfect? No the Bible tells us they weren’t. It was only after they were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost that God worked in mighty ways through them. They weren’t even perfect then, but these men were willing to be used by God. They were so willing to be used by God that all but two of the twelve disciples died a martyr’s death. Spending time with Jesus had radically transformed them.

Before Jesus left this earth, he gave his disciples some very specific instructions about the legacy they were to live. These instructions come to us this morning.  18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The legacy that Jesus wants us to leave is that of making disciples. It is not our job to simply go out and make converts and then baptize them. That does not end our responsibility – our responsibility continues – we are to teach them to obey (and that involves discipline) all the commands that were given to us by Jesus. The reason we can do that is that Jesus is with us through the power of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were radically transformed at Pentecost. God desires to radically transform our lives as well. We can see that history speaks well of the disciples. Several of them wrote parts of the New Testament and the Good News was shared throughout the Roman Empire. They had a sense of urgency in sharing the Good News. We don’t always share that urgency. I wonder what it was. Paul gives us an idea in 1 Corinthians 7:29-31:

29 But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. 30 Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. 31 Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.

Let me put it this way, Paul was encouraging the Corinthians church to focus as much as they could on making disciples, because the time was short. If time was short in the 1st Century, how much shorter is it today? Each believer has been commanded to follow the Great Commission. We are called to be a light to the world that is in the midst of the darkness. We are not called to curse the darkness, but to light a candle. For those of you who are called by God, how will history write your story? Will history be kind to you? Or will history forget about you?

Our challenge today is to go make disciples – go light our world.

While You Were Sleeping

When Mark Hall set out to write the song that you just heard, he was working on a contemporary setting of the classic Christmas hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” As he started working on the song, he began to see how the people of Bethlehem really missed the coming of Jesus. It wasn’t much different for the city of Jerusalem. They missed the Savior of the world, who died on the cross. The song quickly draws parallels to the United States. Are we as asleep as the people of Bethlehem and Jerusalem? The stakes are high if we miss the coming of Jesus.

Much is being written on the Second Coming of Jesus. The popularity of the “Left Behind” series of books is partial proof that people have an interest in the future and how it will all end. It seems everywhere you look people are interested and have all kinds of theories about the Second Coming. My question for you is, “Are you ready?” Jesus cautions us in Matthew 24:30, “…No one know the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” I want to suggest to you that what is important about Jesus’ return is that he is coming back. It is not important to be looking for all the signs. Many times when we think of Jesus’ return we look to Matthew 24. I want us to go one chapter beyond that to Matthew 25. As part of Jesus’ discourse on the last days, he tells three parables. As we take a look at the parables this morning, I want to ask the question again, “Are you ready for Jesus’ return?” When it comes to his return, I believe Jesus was very clear that there three important things about His return. What are they? One, we must watch and pray. Matthew 25:13 says, “So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return.” A chapter later in Matthew 26:41, Jesus is rebuking His disciples at a crucial time and he says, “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing the body is weak!” So in order to be ready we need to watch and pray.

Jesus told the story of the ten bridesmaids. All ten of them took their lamps to meet the bridegroom. Five of them took their lamps and extra oil. Five of them only brought their lamps and the oil that was in them. We find out that the bridegroom was delayed for some reason. It could be any number of reasons, but he was delayed and the bridesmaids decided to take a little nap. All of a sudden the bridegroom returned. You know how it is when you are woken up from your sleep. You’re a little groggy and a bit disoriented. I’m sure the bridesmaids were this way. Five of them were prepared for his coming and had the extra oil, because they had probably used some waiting for the groom’s return. Five of them were unprepared, because they used up all the oil waiting for the groom’s return. The five who didn’t have enough oil asked the other five for some extra, but those who were prepared didn’t have enough for those who came unprepared. So the five went off traipsing into the town at midnight to find oil. Finally, they got some oil, (must have been at the local Wal-Mart Supercenter.) But when they returned the door was locked and even though they had an invite they were denied meeting the groom.

Is this a picture of the American church? Some people spend all their time looking for signs and symbols of the Lord’s return…Look at all the books written about it. And yet, this doesn’t help us become better disciples of the Lord Jesus. It makes us knowledgeable about the future times, but leaves us empty in learning how to be more like Jesus. I think it would be good for us to occupy the time while the bridegroom is delayed with trying to be more like Jesus. Can I ask some questions this morning? Why do you come to God’s house week after week? Is it to see friends? Is it to talk about the latest happenings? You’ll remember that we are in a series title, “Lifesong Lessons.” Our life should reflect the one we worship. If we worship the everlasting God, then our lives should reflect that. If we worship Jesus, our lives should reflect that. Remember Romans 12:1-2, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.”

Some of you are going to think that I am meddling this morning. But that’s ok. Since were on the subject of worship, can I ask a favor? We need to be more respectful of our time together in worship. One of the things that have bothered me over our time together is talking that happens during worship. Some will say it’s the teens and our students. But many times I notice adults talking during the service, especially while we sing or take the offering. Remember the old saying, more is caught than taught. If we expect our students to be quiet in worship, then we need to set an example for them.

My prayer for our church is for us to become a mile deep discipleship church. Some churches go for one or the other. Some are a mile wide (congregation size) and an inch deep (spiritual size). Others are an inch wise and a mile deep. Somehow we must always balance the two. We have been commanded to take the gospel into all the world and make disciples and in order to make disciples we must know what God is teaching us. The first point is to watch and pray. The second point that we’ve already moved into is to occupy the time. We need to make the most of the time that we have. We have no idea when Christ is coming back. That’s why I believe that we should spend the time, not trying to figure out all the biblical roadmaps on when he is coming back, but to make the most of the time we have and bring as many people to Jesus as we can and disciple them in the ways of Christ.

Thursday night I had the opportunity to come over into the sanctuary and pray. I came over to pray for something completely different, but God used that time to speak to me about things that I needed to take care of to be the shepherd he has called me to be. I want to make it very clear that I love you this morning and I want God’s best for you. I want to see lives sold out for Jesus, not only students and young adults, but everyone who comes to our church. My prayer is that our church would be completely sold-out to nothing but Jesus and to occupy the time that is left in being sold out to Jesus and doing his work.

If we take a look at the second story Jesus tells in Matthew 25, we discover a story about a boss and his employees. The boss is about to take a long business trip. He gives the assets of the company to three employees. To employee number one he gives ten thousand dollars (This is a small company.) To the second employee he gives five thousand dollars, and to the third employee he gives a thousand dollars. He tells them that he is going away and that they should take care of the money for him. The boss stays away a lot longer than the employees thought he would. Finally, he returns from a many month long world-wide business trip. He calls all the employees together and asks for an accounting of what they have done. The first employee says, “You gave me $10,000 when you left and I doubled the amount.” The second employee says, “You gave me $5,000 and I did the same and doubled the amount.” The third employee by now is standing sheepishly in the corner. “I know you are a tough boss and I was afraid to lose any of the money you gave me, so I put it in the safe.” The boss is furious. I can just imagine it now in his best Donald Trump voice, “You’re fired. Couldn’t you have at least taken the money and put it in a low risk CD, or at the very least put it in the bank and gathered a measly 2% interest. You don’t deserve what I’ve given you. Give me that $1,000 and I’ll give it to the number one employee.” And so it was. We need to be like the first two employees. We need to take what God has given us and do all we can to increase the investment he has made in us. We need to be busy about the work of making disciples. Some of us are better than it than others, but that’s ok, we need to be faithful in doing the task that he has called us to.

We need to watch and we need to pray and we need to occupy the time. Is there anything else? The final story of the trilogy that Jesus tells is the story of the sheep and the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. What does he say to those on his right? “Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you invited me into your home. I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me.” Those on the right are astounded they know what the Lord looks like and never remember helping anyone who looked like him. When did we help you they ask? We helped lots of people, but we didn’t help you. We wouldn’t have forgotten that experience. Jesus replies, “When you did it to the least of my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.”

Then he will turn to those on his left and say, “Away with you, you cursed ones into the fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. I was hungry and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty and you didn’t give me anything to drink. I was a stranger and you left me out in the cold. I was naked and you didn’t give me any clothing. I was sick and in prison and I rotted there!”

They will ask, “When? When where you hungry? That’s not fair Lord, we didn’t even know you were hungry. Can one of the angels go get the Lord a hamburger? Or when were you thirsty? We don’t understand. Or when were you a stranger, you weren’t one of those creepy people who came to the door? That wasn’t our ministry! When were you sick? We don’t even know what size you wear. When were you in prison? When were you sick? I hope it wasn’t fatal. It was? ENOUGH!

Jesus stops them. It has become too much. He replies, “If you have refused to do it to the least of my brothers and sisters, you have refused to do it to me.” Those on his left will go away to eternal punishment, but the ones on the right to eternal life. If we look at the difference it is in what they did and didn’t do. We have long way from the mission churches of the past. Most of our Wesleyan churches have no idea what the inner city looks like. Jesus makes it clear that sharing the good news includes helping the down and out. That’s why I encourage you to be part of the bell-ringing for Salvation Army. They are a quality organization to be partners with.

This morning I want to ask you, “Are you sleeping?” The scriptures tell us “time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Church, we need to wake up and get busy, first of all by getting deeper into God’s Word and growing closer to him. We can never grow enough! Second, we need to get busy, making disciples as Christ has commanded us. If you are sleeping in a spiritual slumber, the time is now to wake up. Again, I love this church and I want us to be the best that we can be for the kingdom. I want us to be spiritual mature and bring others to spiritual maturity. If you desire prayer that God would wake you up or you desire to go deeper with God, the altar is open. Come be ministered to by Jesus.