If we can see ourselves in this position, then we can see ourselves being recipients of the love that is God.
The power of this love is defined in sacrificial terms.
We talked about our community and what it means to be a Disciple in the context of this community, beginning with our 5-mile radius, and expanding outward in concentric to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
As we discerned these values, we assumed that we are called to be a missional congregation, and that these values will help guide our practice of mission.
The Father is the vine-dresser, who prunes the branches to make sure they are productive (John 15:1-8).
After all, Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.
Instead we stopped at what is often known as the briefest Scripture text, “Jesus wept” (KJV).
I had us stop here, because that verse, and the words that precede it underline the centrality of compassion to the ministry of Jesus and the ways of God.
There is likely fodder here for making connections, with the command to abide in love and the message of chosenness being prominent.
The reading for the day is a continuation of the conversation about vines and branches.