The 5th Sunday of Easter
Love and Glory
Text: John 13:31-35
I think that my life would be at peace and I would still manage somehow to die a happy man if I never heard or saw a Kardashian again. It’s unbelievable. Those Kardashians are everywhere! TV shows, commercials, magazines. That means they have infiltrated our homes, our grocery stores, our doctor and dentist waiting rooms. But if that’s not enough, you can even get a little more Kardashian in your life as Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and Kylie all have their own official apps you can download on your phone or tablet.
As ridiculous (or annoying?) as the Kardashian craze may be, you have to hand it to their publicists. They are certainly good at what they do. They put that unique family out there for the whole world to see.
Now you have to ask, “Why would someone want to do that? Why harness the powers of all these media channels? Why put yourself out there in front of the world?” The Kardashians have an entire staff of PR specialists because they understand a fundamental concept innate to every single human being: If you gain glory, you gain love. This is how our entire world—and especially our American culture—is set up. If you have glory, you will have love. Read the rest of this entry
5th Sunday of Easter
All You Need Is Love
Text: John 13:31-35
If you have been around Christ the King a while, and if you have listened to more than a few sermons from this preacher before, then you may have a smile forming on your face. Those of you veteran Christ the King sermon listeners may have seen this sermon theme today, smiled, and thought, “Oh boy. Pastor is going to sing in his sermon again. I just know it. He’s going to sing the Beatles to get our attention for the sermon.” And if that’s what you CTK veterans thought . . . then you were absolutely right!
It’s easy. All you need is love, all you need is love, all you need is love, love, love is all you need. So sang John, Paul, George, and Ringo on June 25, 1967 in the world’s first live global television production called Our World. The song was broadcast to 26 countries and viewed by 400 million people.
John Lennon wanted the message of the song to be simple and clear. Like many of the Beatles’ songs, it was a call to change the world. All wars and violence would end, everyone would get along, and there would be peace everywhere if there would just be love. It’s easy. All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
Though John, Paul, George, and Ringo were very good singers, they were also very poor theologians. Buy their music. Don’t buy into their philosophies. However, it just so happens that with this one song they got one thing right: All You Need Is Love. Read the rest of this entry
2nd Sunday in Lent
My Song is Love Unknown: Love to the Loveless Shown
Text: John 13:2-7
Do a quick survey of all the Bible stories rattling around in your brain. Take a moment to think about all the foolish things Jesus’ disciples did or said. You might think of the disciples caught up in a storm in the boat crying out to Jesus, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Maybe the feeding of the five thousand comes to mind when the disciples tried to send the crowds of people away at dinnertime, not expecting or considering that Jesus could miraculously provide for everyone. Even worse was when the disciples tried to shoo away the little children that Jesus welcomed with open and loving arms. Then there was the time Jesus was walking on water and they thought he was a ghost. Or the time James and John were arguing about who was greater and had the nerve to ask if they could flank Jesus on thrones in heaven. Or the time Judas was angry at Mary Magdalene for pouring perfume on Jesus’ feet because he wanted that money in their treasury where he could steal it.
In a category all by himself was Peter. The Bible records Peter as almost saying or doing as many foolish things as the rest of the disciples combined. That time they thought Jesus was a ghost out on the water, Peter wanted to walk on the water with him—and he did (until he looked down and was afraid!). Then there was the time Peter actually rebuked Jesus for saying he was going to die. Or the time he thought it would be a good idea to put up tents and stay with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration. Read the rest of this entry
Sermon on John 13:2-17
3rd Wednesday in Lent
You Shall Never Wash My Feet
Text: John 13:2-17
Feet washing was a pertinent subject at the time. Last week we heard how Jesus was anointed at Bethany. Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, poured perfume onto Jesus’ head that today may have been worth more than $40,000. She also poured the perfume on his feet and wiped them clean with her own hair. Mary was giving Jesus the greatest honor as with repentance and humility she praised her Savior and prepared him for his burial.
Now just six days later, the crew is in the Upper Room. The day was Maundy Thursday. Jesus had his disciples prepare what would be the last supper before his death, a Passover meal for them to celebrate together.
It was customary to have your feet washed when at someone’s house for a meal. It was part of “cleaning up” before dinner. But remember the setting. This was in Israel. They didn’t wear boots or Nikes. This was also 2,000 years ago. They didn’t have paved streets and sidewalks. Walking around in the hot sun with sandals on in dirty and dusty streets would perhaps be the equivalent of walking up and down the beach in the summer with your crocs on. Needless to say, their feet would have been significantly more dirty than our feet are today.
Thus it was a servant or slave’s job to wash the feet. Who else would want to mess with a dirty, filthy, stinky bunch of feet? Even if it were your own family, would you really want to touch and clean something so gross? Only someone forced to do menial labor would do such a thing! This was a servant’s work!
How stunning it is then to hear verse three this evening: “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet.” Jesus knew that he had all power over everything. He knew that if he wanted he could blink his eyes like I Dream of Jeanie and the feet of his disciples could be cleaned without his even touching them. Jesus knew that his dwelling was in heaven with God and that soon he would be returning to heaven. But yet though Jesus knew full well he is the God of the universe, he stripped down to his under garments, wrapped a wiping rag around his waist, and began to clean his disciples’ feet. Read the rest of this entry
Midweek Lent 2
Jesus Came to Seek the Lost . . . A Misguided Disciple
Text: John 13:36-38
What do you think the look was like? Peter had blurted out for the third time, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking this third denial, the rooster crowed. The apostle Luke tells us, “Then the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter.” What do you think that look was like? Having the Son of God look him in the eye and peer into his soul to see his sin was certainly affective. “Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.”
How could this happen?
Rewind a few hours. It was Thursday evening. The Lord was with the twelve in an upper room. After Jesus humbly stooped to wash his disciples’ feet, they celebrated the Passover meal one last time together. During it the Lord instituted a special new meal, his own supper, for them to do in remembrance of him. Following, Jesus was giving final instructions and words of comfort to his disciples. During that speech he said, “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.”
We pick up with the lesson for this evening: “’Simon Peter asked him, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus replied, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.’ Peter asked, ‘Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’” Read the rest of this entry