We rejoice as our communities unite and pull together in response to recent flooding, disaster or tragedy! Gladly we offer our prayers and act to lend our hands to provide help, clean up and rebuild.

Yet the Lord God calls us to an eternal fellowship which transcends both these moments of extraordinary urgency–and all those moments of ‘everything back to normal’ complacency and conflict which sadly, inevitably do follow…

God intervenes by His apostolic Word to make our fellowship and our joy complete!!

Hear the full sermon audio Called by the Preached Word into Fellowship with Us

Hear the full Bible Study audio:

Bible Study Notes on 1 John 1:1-4 from

the Fellowship in His Word Series, Part Two

“Called by the Preached Word into Fellowship with US”

From 1 John 1:1-4 (ESV)

  1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

INTRODUCTION: This Lenten Season we are devoting ourselves to unity with series of sermons on Fellowship in His Word. We hope by the series end we may better receive this Fellowship with Scriptural meaning, in Biblical terms.

Since we last met on Ash Wednesday, our region (indeed, much of the state of Nebraska) experienced a remarkable storm with very heavy rains. High winds broke branches and damaged property. Our town and others lost electrical power, at least for a while. Would we have food, water, shelter, heat, survive?!

Those rains melted the heavy snows we received in the weeks before, causing creeks and rivers to flood the low lying areas. Many rural roads were impassable, some paved highways and bridges washed out. Towns in our area were flooded, some partly or completely evacuated. The damage to homes and businesses, loss of livestock, inventory and commerce is still being calculated. Some people lost their lives; others are still missing.

Certainly, these days will be remembered by those who lived through them. The stories will be told to our grandchildren of the “bomb-cyclone” of March 2019. We will tell of how our communities pulled together. Families reached out to family and friends. Neighbors checked up on neighbors. Groups of volunteers from one community gathered to help both friends and strangers in the next.

Churches gladly worked together for the common good. Members set their differences aside to respond to this extraordinary widespread need for help. People rightly stepped up to this opportunity to serve. It will be said, “This disaster brought us all together!” “This tragedy united us all.” This mutual service, the experience of personal sacrifice for the sake of our neighbors, it is worthy of our celebrating, remembering, and sharing with generations to come!

PART ONE: An “I Guess You Just Had to Be There…” Experience?

A.) Read 1 John 1:1-4. Saint John opens this letter with very experiential language here. What senses/sensory words do you find in these verses?




B.) Are these experiences very personal to John? Yes / No?

C.) Was John the only one to experience them? Yes / No?

Explain your answer, why you believe John was/wasn’t the only one:



D.) What exactly did St. John and others experience, according to verses 1-2?



Read Acts 1:12-26. What qualifications must one have to be an apostle? (See especially verses 21-22)



PART TWO: From Personal Experience to Shared Knowledge of Experience

E. Have you ever experienced hardship, storms, disasters and all the good feelings of everyone coming together to help one another before? Yes / No?

F.) Eventually, you (will) meet someone who simply wasn’t there, a newcomer to the community from another state or country–friends or relatives who lived far away, folks who are traveling, or others you meet in your own travels to other places. They don’t know what happened. They don’t know how it felt for you. They have no idea how these experiences changed things for you or others.

We don’t blame them for not knowing, at least, we shouldn’t. Yet sometimes we want them to know and understand these experiences, to know us better. We share a bond with others because of them, and hope to include them in all that bond means for us now, going forward. Those experiences brought us important lessons. They continue to shape our choices and decisions. We learn from those experiences, grow in those experiences, discover things about ourselves and others in such experiences.

In what ways might you choose to share your experiences? How do others usually share their experiences with you? With what means or tools?





PART THREE : The Role of the Word in Fellowship

G.) Hear again verse 3:

that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you,

so that you too may have fellowship with us;

and indeed our fellowship is with the Father

and with his Son Jesus Christ.

H.) How does St. John share “that which we have seen and heard”?


I.) Consider the word ‘proclaim’ for a moment. How is that word ‘proclaim’ different from the following speaking words:

Proclaim differs from WHISPER: ___________________________________

Proclaim differs from SHOUT: ___________________________________

Proclaim differs from TELL: ___________________________________

Proclaim differs from DESCRIBE: ___________________________________

Proclaim differs from SHARE: ___________________________________

J.) What is a Proclamation?


K.) What kind of persons might issue a Proclamation?



L.) Why does it matter if the Governor proclaims/declares a disaster area?



M. How is apostolic preaching somewhat like a governor’s proclamation?


N.) According to verse 3, for what purpose do St. John and the apostles “proclaim also to you” what they “have seen and heard”? What is the intended result of proclaiming?



O.) Can the Church have fellowship with the apostles, with the Father and His Son Jesus, by setting aside this proclaimed Word? Yes / No?

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