|Advent 2, Year A – the Rev. Deacon Carey Connors||December 8, 2019||Advent 2, Year A||Matthew 3:1-12|
|Advent 1, Year A||December 1, 2019||First Sunday of Advent, Year A||Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:36-44|
|Last Pentecost, Year C||November 24, 2019||Last Pentecost, Christ the King||Luke 23:33-43|
|Pentecost 23, Year C||November 17, 2019||Pentecost 23, Year C, Proper 28||Luke 21:5-19|
|Pentecost 22, Year C||November 10, 2019||Pentecost 22, Proper 27, Year C||Job 19:23-27a, Luke 20:38|
|All Saints, Year C||November 3, 2019||All Saints’ Sunday, Year C 2019||Luke 6:20-31|
|Pentecost 20, Year C||October 27, 2019||Pentecost 2, Proper 25, Year C||2 Timothy 4:6-8|
|Pentecost 19, Year C||October 20, 2019||Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 24||Luke 18:1-8|
|Pentecost 18, Year C||October 13, 2019||Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C||Psalm 111, Luke 17:11-19|
|Pentecost 17, Year C – Rev. Deacon Carey Connors||October 6, 2019||Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C||2 Timothy 1:1-14,Luke 17:5-10|
|Season of Creation 5, Year C||September 29, 2019||Season of Creation 5, Year B||Proverbs 8:22-31, Ephesians 1:3-10, Luke 24:13-35|
|Season of Creation 4, Year C||September 22, 2019||Season of Creation, Year C, Week 4||Luke 16:19-31, Amos 8:4-8|
|Season of Creation 3, Year C||September 15, 2019||Season of Creation, Week 3, Year C||Deuteronomy 11:10-17, Luke 15:1-10|
|Season of Creation 2, Year C||September 8, 2019||Season of Creation, Week 2, Year C||Genesis 1:26-2:3, I Timothy 6:6-19, Luke 12:22-31|
|Season of Creation 1, Year C||September 1, 2019||Season of Creation 1, Year C||Genesis 1:1-25, Revelation 22:1-5, John 1:1-5, 14|
Easter 3, Year C
Sermon Date:May 5, 2019
Scripture: John 21:1-19
Liturgy Calendar: Third Sunday of Easter, Year C
As disciples of Jesus, our job is to be a source of abundant life to everyone around us, providing to the best of our ability what is lacking.
Once when Jesus was talking with his disciples, he said, “I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” The disciples didn’t realize at the time that he was not only talking about his work, but theirs as well.
Their job, as disciples, would be to help bring abundant life to people even after Jesus had risen and returned to God.
So Jesus made sure that the disciples had plenty of opportunities to see what God’s abundance looked like while he was with them and could show them.
Jesus, from the beginning to the end of his time on this earth, provided the miraculous and unexpected and joyful abundance of whatever was needed; gallons of exquisite wine for the thirsty in his very first miracle, hearty bread for the hungry, fish overflowing in nets for the discouraged disciples as his closing miracle, and most of all, God’s love for all, for in the words of Hal David’s prayerful song, “O listen Lord, if you want to know, What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.”
After that last miracle, when Jesus fills the net of the disciples with fish, Jesus and Peter and the other disciples eat the breakfast that Jesus prepares for them from that miraculous catch of fish, and then the conversation turns to the subject of love.
Peter’s love for Jesus had been challenged and defeated when Peter claimed not to know Jesus on the night that Jesus was betrayed.
So Jesus now asks Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Jesus wants to know if Peter is willing to love others as abundantly as Jesus has loved Peter.
Three times Jesus asks Peter this question, and three times, Peter says yes. “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Not that long ago, on the night Jesus had washed their feet at the last supper they’d share together, Jesus said to the disciples, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” This is the kind of love that Jesus hopes Peter has. And this is the kind of love that Jesus hopes that we also have as his current day disciples.
The world will always need God’s abundant love—and as I mentioned at the beginning, our job is to provide that love to the best of our ability.
When we disciples follow this commandment and love one another abundantly, as Jesus has loved us, our love for one another gets transformed into abundant love, the sort of love that then transforms the people who receive it—Jesus transforms our love for one another into an endless strand of abundant miracles that reveal God’s love to the world.
Jesus is counting on us, the disciples, to offer abundant life to those around us. This offering of God’s abundant life to others is our on-going work as his followers.
Some of us will be called to lay down our lives out of love, as Jesus did. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Oscar Romero both died because they loved the people that the powerful oppressed. Riley Howell, a 21 year old student at UNC-Charlotte, saved others just this past week by tackling and disarming the shooter who had entered their classroom, and gave his life so that his classmates might live.
Others will lay down their lives in love as Mother Teresa and Fr Damion did, loving and caring for the sick, the dying, and the deserted.
And others of us will love abundantly in quiet selflessness that goes mostly unnoticed but that adds to the endless strand of God’s miraculous and transforming love in this world.
Jesus takes us, in all our ordinariness, and Jesus loves us into the fullness of who God made us to be, people full of God’s abundant love.
One of the ways we know that we are loving others as Jesus has loved us is the joy we experience when we share this divine love with others.
Joy is a sign of God’s presence in our midst.
When you dislike someone or find yourself constantly judging someone in your family, or in your work, or even in the church, if that person gets on your nerves, or makes you upset, here’s a suggestion.
Try loving that person with the same gracious, transforming and abundant love that Jesus has poured out on you. At the very least, if you can’t imagine yourself ever loving that person, then pray for the desire to love.
Even if all you can do is to try to love someone with God’s love, joy will eventually show up, because God’s love brings joy.
The psalmist says that weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Loving the other with God’s abundant love can turn our wailing into dancing and can clothe us with joy.
And we will find, as the psalmist says, that “Our hearts sing to you, God, without ceasing; O Lord my God, we will give you thanks forever.”
Before he died and returned to God, Jesus said to the disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my 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. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Now, imagine that you are on there on that beach with Jesus and the disciples early in the morning, the sun just coming up, the day ahead full of possibilities.
Imagine Jesus asking you, “Do you love me?”
If you say, “Yes, Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you,” then Jesus will say, “Follow me, disciple.”
So disciples, follow Jesus—consider the possibilities in your life for showing your love for Jesus, and love one another as Jesus has loved us, with abundant love,
For when we follow Jesus as his disciples and try to love one another as abundantly as Jesus has loved us, the world will continue to miraculously receive God’s own love, sweet love, and the joy of Jesus will be in us, and our joy will be complete. Amen