Sunday was a big, good day. And the camp is full now. Classic 3 campers have joined Summit campers, and we are off to a great start. I think you can judge the basic health of camp by how well the campers are eating. They’ve devoured the chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. I hope that’s an indicator of their hunger for a great session.
Last night we read in devotions about the call of Nathanael from John 1. The story begins as Jesus sees Nathanael approaching, and he recognizes something strong and good in Nathanael. He says, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” Jesus praises Nathanael for being a man of integrity.
Nathanael seems surprised by this praise, and he asks, “How did you know me?” Jesus replied that he had seen Nathanael standing under a fig tree even before Phillip had invited him to “come and see” Jesus. After being recognized and praised by Jesus, Nathanael makes a brave confession of faith: “You are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
It will be interesting to find out where the campers will see themselves in this story, but it is beautiful and good news that Jesus sees and knows Nathanael better and more clearly than Nathanael knows himself. And it is really good news that Jesus begins by recognizing the strength and integrity of Nathanael. He doesn’t begin with Nathanael’s shortcomings or failures. He calls him to believe, not just in Jesus, but also that God is at work in good ways, in his own life.
I enjoy thinking about our Counselors tonight, calling names, encouraging campers to believe in themselves and trust in the goodness of God. I hope all our campers hear good news this session. I look forward to seeing what great things we will see happening in these next two weeks.