There’s a reason the fruit of the Holy Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.” And not “strength, power, influence, might, and security.”
John 13:5-16 is a passage, I feel, which is healthy for pastors to be a bit uncomfortable preaching.
I preached the Sunday following 9/11, and I thought it would probably be the most difficult sermon I would ever have to preach. After the events of this past week I have to say this was much more difficult.
In a lot of Christian preaching, and it doesn’t matter if it’s conservative or liberal or evangelical or progressive or anything other kind of preaching we can come up with, calls to repent are too often directed to “them.”
The fourth Sunday of Advent focuses on God’s love. And today I want to share a story of God’s love which comes from my own faith tradition, American Baptist.
We sometimes allow ourselves to hold on to the false notion that the “early church” was pristine and that all its theology was settled. The impulse this false notion leads to, especially among low-church folks like us Baptists, is that if we could only get back to the early church all of our problems would go away. But it’s a lie.