What does it mean to abide in God’s love? We are invited to answer this by reference to four passages from John’s gospel. The first of these starts us with the great them of love: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:10). With this, we know that abiding love refers to a nurturing constancy that only God can accomplish. The sense in active and ongoing, such that we must strive to keep connected to God lest our relationship wither. Our next topic from John is thatRead More →

Today we learn about God as love (1 John 4:7-21) and of love in action through outreach (Acts 8:26-40). “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). What a gift! God and love are one as the power of the universe unfolds. Of all the countless descriptions about love, this is one of the best. Simply stated, God is love. Christianity is the religion that supposed to be about love above all other faiths. Some peoples’ gods are portrayed as animals, weird other-worldly creatures, or some unfathomable, unreachable entity that is too abstract to make sense. Not soRead More →

Today’s passage from John focuses on Jesus the good shepherd (John 10:11-18). The imagery is iconic, with our Lord described as the guardian shepherd. Jesus repeatedly uses the metaphor of shepherds and sheep to emphasize the way in which he cares for us. Jesus is not just any common shepherd. Instead, our Lord describes himself as the one who is willing to die for his sheep. Flocks are valuable assets. So in one sense it is not surprising that shepherds will do what they must to protect their investment. And yet Jesus is no ordinary shepherd and we are more than monetized possessions. Jesus’ commitmentRead More →

Be Encouraged! This is the message that rises up from today’s scripture. The resurrected Jesus is gathered with his closest followers as the time nears for his departure for heaven. The stage is set for a new era, one without Jesus walking the earth yet empowered by the Holy Spirit. At first, the apostles perceive Jesus as a ghost, and so the savior needs to again prove that he was their Lord. In the context of this marvelous story, the drama and sense of wonder emerge. The end of Jesus’ time on earth is nearer than ever. The apostles sense that Jesus will be goneRead More →

Today’s message pertains to one of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances. The apostles are gathered together, minus Thomas, and the air is thick with expectation. Then Jesus arrives. Once the miraculously appearing Jesus says who he is, his friends rejoice. Jesus revealed his physical wounds and convinced those gathered that the situation was real. The biblical text sums-up the situation: “ ‘As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’Read More →

God bless you on this wonderful morning. Welcome to the most joyous of all Christian holidays—Easter! Join in this festive occasion as we celebrate. For Easter we emphasize life over death and hope over despair. Jesus’ triumph demonstrates how love and light crush hate and darkness. The good news is that God’s message lives fully within each of us. Jesus’ flesh and blood have since transformed in heaven yet Jesus’ principles remain alive with us. Indeed, the Christ (literally “the anointed one”) reigns supreme as a messenger of God’s salvation. Easter reminds us that death is not the final word for human existence. Through theRead More →