There are few toys that transcend generations. But one toy that was probably under the Christmas tree for just about anyone reading this is the famous View-Master. We can all recall the joys of sliding those paper cylinders into the top, putting it to our eyes while aiming it toward a bright light, feeling the smooth click of the advancing frames, and enjoying a whole host of brightly colored images passing before our eyes.
Dating back as far as 1919, the early models were for stereoscopic sightseeing of postcard images of beautiful or famous sights around the world. In 1966, the device became popular more as a child’s toy – revealing child-friendly images of cartoons and movie characters.
In a history of the View-Master it is said that … “There have been some 25 viewer models, thousands of titles, and 1.5 billion copies of reels. Despite its long history and many changes in models and materials, the same basic design of reels and internal mechanism remained, ensuring that every reel will work in every model.”
Our study of the Gospel of John is with the purpose of seeing “God Up Close.” Through a sort of “reel” of vignettes and accounts, John gives us a personal look at Jesus Christ – the one who is God up close, God in the flesh.
As Chris Wiles has written in the introductory study resource on our series web page (click HERE to see the detailed and excellent background) … In a child’s View-Master, images are collected on a small, paper wheel. But there are two of each image—placed at strategic locations on opposite sides of the wheel. When you look through the View-Master, your eyes see only one image—but the combined images appear as 3D pictures. Jesus is like this. He is fully human. He is also fully God. When we see those two natures together in one person, we see one Image, one Savior, one Hope.
Jesus makes God vividly real in our world in a way that no other teacher, no other religious system ever could. John’s gospel was written so that everyone could encounter Jesus in a new way. So we welcome you to come along with us through this series.
There will be a total of 12 sermons (including two that accompany Christmas season worship programs). And the devotionals that begin on Monday will take you through an explanatory reading of the Gospel of John with a total of 45 sections, Monday to Friday, over nine weeks. Note also that there are additional study guides (connected to the sermon passages) for personal or group use to be found on the series web page (www.GodUpCloseTSF.org).
If you, like many, are reading this on a device like your phone or tablet, perhaps not every graphic will come through perfectly, and formatting may occasionally be a bit stilted. But you can always click to be taken to the actual web page – again, where you will find a plethora of other resources and connections.
May you truly experience God up close in a new way in your life through this journey together.