“Who We Are and What We Will Be” (1 John 3:1-3)

All Saints’ Day (Observed)
Sunday, November 3, 2013

“Who We Are and What We Will Be” (1 John 3:1-3)

Today as we observe All Saints’ Day, we look back and remember with thanksgiving the saints who have gone before us, who now rest from their labors and are with the Lord. We look around us, and even though we cannot see them, we know that we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses to the faith, all of us united in the one great communion of saints, the whole church on earth and in heaven. And we look ahead, we look forward with hopefulness to the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns and raises our bodies and restores his creation to a glory that we cannot even imagine.

And so there is this “now but not yet” aspect to our readings on this day–and really, throughout the month of November, as we come toward the close of the church year. In November our thoughts turn to the last things, to the end times, to this earth as we know it coming to a close and Christ coming again to bring in the everlasting age to come. And in the midst of this, our forward look gives us hope–and calls us to holiness–even now.

This “now and not yet” dual emphasis is perfectly encapsulated in one of our readings for today, the Epistle from 1 John 3. Listen, for example, to this verse: “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared.” And so our theme this morning: “Who We Are and What We Will Be.”


Published in: on November 2, 2013 at 11:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Sanctified in the Word of Truth” (John 17:11b-19; 1 John 5:9-15)

Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 20, 2012

“Sanctified in the Word of Truth” (John 17:11b-19; 1 John 5:9-15)

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus prays for his disciples–he prays for all believers, he prays for his church–he prays for us, here in this time between his ascension and his return. And one of the things Jesus prays for us is this, where he says to the Father: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” “Sanctified in the Word of Truth.” Let’s find out what that means for us now.


Published in: on May 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“All You Need Is Love” (1 John 5:1-8; John 15:9-17)

Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 13, 2012

“All You Need Is Love” (1 John 5:1-8; John 15:9-17)

“All you need is love. Love is all you need.” No, I’m not quoting John the Beatle. I’m quoting John the Apostle, or at least I’m paraphrasing him. Yes, John–that John, St. John–talked about love a lot. And he’s doing it again today, both in the Epistle reading from 1 John and in the Gospel of John. Basically, John is saying today, “All You Need Is Love.”


Published in: on May 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Fellowship through the Word of Life” (1 John 1:1 – 2:2)

Circuit Pastors’ Conference
Week of Second Sunday of Easter
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

“Fellowship through the Word of Life” (1 John 1:1 – 2:2)

As of this past Sunday, the Three-Year Lectionary is featuring six straight weeks of Epistle readings from First John. This is quite appropriate for Easter, since First John is all about a crucified-and-risen, real flesh-and-blood Savior for real flesh-and-blood sinners. John in his epistle is telling us that this is the only way we have fellowship with God and thus with one another: It is through Christ the eternal Son of God coming in the flesh, shedding his blood for us, and rising from the dead, bodily, to give us eternal life. And so right here in the beginning of John’s letter, he announces his theme, “Fellowship through the Word of Life”: We have fellowship with God and with one another only through the enfleshed and proclaimed Word of Life.


Published in: on April 21, 2012 at 9:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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