Day 409 | Sunday, 2 May 2021
Day 409 Sunday, May 2, 2021
The assigned Scripture readings for this the fifth Sunday of Easter are Acts 8:25-40, Psalm 22:25-31, 1 John 4:7-21 and John 15:1-8.
I am sharing the gospel reading which is a reminder of how we are connected to Jesus. The imagery is one I have always found to be very powerful. I am a branch. Have I been producing, or have I started to dry up and be unproductive? Every now and then, I need to be trimmed to be productive.
The second reading is from 1 John. This week I have shared thoughts on trust and faith. This reading is just one that talks about love. It is challenging in today’s world to be loving of some people. What does this mean for me as a disciple? How do I show my love when there is so much hatred and evil?
John 15:1-8 CEB I am the true vine
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vineyard keeper. 2 He removes any of my branches that don’t produce fruit, and he trims any branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit. 3 You are already trimmed because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch can’t produce fruit by itself, but must remain in the vine. Likewise, you can’t produce fruit unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything. 6 If you don’t remain in me, you will be like a branch that is thrown out and dries up. Those branches are gathered up, thrown into a fire, and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified when you produce much fruit and in this way prove that you are my disciples.
1 John 4:7-21 (The Message) Love and God
7 My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. 8 The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love - so you can't know him if you don't love. 9 This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. 10 This is the kind of love we are talking about - not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God. 11 My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. 12 No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us - perfect love! 13 This is how we know we're living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He's given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. 14 Also, we've seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. 15 Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God's Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. 16 We know it so well, we've embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. 17 This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry on Judgment Day - our standing in the world is identical with Christ's. 18 There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life - fear of death, fear of judgment - is one not yet fully formed in love. 19 We, though, are going to love - love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. 20 If anyone boasts, "I love God," and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won't love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can't see? 21 The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both.
Today: How are you doing as a branch connected to the vine? How loving are you?
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Rev. Douglas Knopp, Pastor Emeritus