Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of April 8, 2018

Sermon: “LOVED: Loved by Him ends with Loving Them

For an entire week the disciples huddled, feared and at the same time celebrated the Resurrection of the Lord; with the exception of one of them. 

Each time they said, “He is Risen!” Thomas refused to join in.   What surprises me most about John’s accounting of the week’s events is that Thomas was still in that room with the disciples a week after Easter.

This means they didn’t tune him out, kick him out, and then lock him out.  Rather, they heard him out, even heard him pout.  Notice that he did not act like they did; no “He is Risen Indeed!”  He didn’t agree with them, “I won’t believe it!” was his stance.   He didn’t even support them, “unless I am treated like you I won’t affirm your truth.”  (understood)  Yet, they dealt with him as Jesus had told them; “As I have loved you, so you should love one another.”  They knew that they too had doubted Jesus’ promise to rise after suffering and death; they recalled how the witness of the women (the first to see Jesus risen) seemed to them like nonsense; and that their faith in the Resurrection sprung from their encounter with the Risen One.  Thus, so loved by the Lord, they loved Thomas.

The author of this account, the disciple whom Jesus loved, in his first epistle reminds us of the incredibly disorienting reality that is love; having been loved by God, freely, fully, unconditionally, unilaterally we are called to love others as we have been loved by Him.  We love not because they deserve it, not because they have earned it, not because they agree with us, not because they act like us, not because they support us, but simply because He loves us!  Loving Him ends in loving them!
 -Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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