getting out the WORD - the sixth sunday of easter PDF Print E-mail

the PRAYER...
O God, you have prepared for those who love you joys beyond understanding. Pour into our hearts such love for you that, loving you above all things, we may obtain your promises, which exceed all we can desire; through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
[Jesus said:] "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love."

John 15:9-17

I watched a movie, last week. Watched it twice, in fact. Come Sunday on Netflix. Born in Southern California, graduate of Oral Roberts University, protege of Oral Roberts himself, Carlton Pearson is the perfect example of a successful preacher... right up to the moment he stops believing in hell! And then, all bets are off! "You don't have to 'get' saved," he told his congregation, "God's already done that!" Two thousand years ago, on a hilltop, outside the walls of Jerusalem! And because of that message, he loses it all. Big church. Big car. Big house. Big everything.

Detractors - as well as family and friends - would ask, "But what if you're wrong?" What if faith isn't just about Jesus, about the cross, about love? What if faith isn't that simple, that easy? What if we do have to confess with our lips and believe in our hearts? What if we do have to obey? What if faith is about god's judgment and eternal fire? We can't take the chance. There's too much at stake. Too much to lose.

And, you know, at least in the movie, he never answered! Not one word! And I wanted him to! So badly, I wanted him to! I wanted him to challenge them! To dare them! I wanted him to look them in the eyes when they got in his face and I wanted him to say... "But what if I'm right?"

Bob Barndt, pastor

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