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Out Of Your Misery

**If you live in Me, and My words stay part of you, you may ask what you will** (John 15:7).
Acts 9:26-31; Psalms 22:26-28,30-32; I John 3:18-34; John 15:1-8

Sermon Topic Word of God

Sermon Week Fifth Sunday of Easter Cycle B

Scripture Summary John 15:7


We live in a world where people are becoming increasingly cynical and bitter and, thus, strangling the very spirit out of living. A seminary professor has painted a composite picture of "rules" followed by those who have joined their ranks. The "Miserable People," he calls them:

First -- feel sorry for yourself! What a terrific place to start! Nothing is more certain to make you miserable than self-pity!

Second -- worry about things that might happen but probably won't. This is nearly as effective as self-pity!

Third -- complain. Find fault with everything. Many people cultivate this into a fine art form.

Fourth -- insist on always having your own way. After all, you know it all, don't you?

Fifth -- ridicule. What good is life if you can't embarrass and hurt other people?

Six -- overreact! Make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Seven -- be self-centered! Don't give a thought to others. Don't help the needy, be sure not to support your Church.

Eight -- ignore the moral teachings of your Religious Tradition, as well as the lessons of history. Disregard ethical principles.

Nine -- do nothing to develop your spirituality. In other words, convince yourself that you are entirely self-sufficient. After all, who needs anyone else, who needs prayer, who needs god?

Says the professor, "If you really want to be miserable, it isn't difficult. These nine rules have been tried for centuries and they almost always work. By conforming to these rules you can make your life miserable and, perhaps, even the lives of those around you -- your spouse and your children, for instance.

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus shows us the way out of our misery. We can choose not to be miserable. We can be non-conformists. We can choose to disregard the nine tried-and-true rules of the miserable people and embrace the one rule Jesus lays down for experiencing the good life. "I am the vine, you are the branches," Jesus says in today's Lesson. "He who lives in Me, and I in him, will produce abundantly, for apart from Me you can do nothing" (Jn. 15:5). Then He adds,

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