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Our Crazy, Mixed Up Family

Whoever remains in Me, with me in Him, bears fruit, in plenty
Acts 9:26-31; Psalms 22:26-27,28,30,31-32; I John 3:18-24; John 15:1-8

Sermon Week Fifth Sunday of Easter Cycle B

Scripture Summary John 15:5

If you ever want to calculate how many ancestors you’ve had, say, in the past five hundred years, start off with your two parents. Each of them had two parents, so multiply two times two. And each of them had two parents, so multiply that number times two. Then continue: two times two times two times two — twenty-one times. That’s twenty-one generations, and that takes you back five to six hundred years. Your final calculation will tell you that over two million ancestors have been swirling around in your gene pool. Each one of us has had millions of unknown characters dancing in our DNA, waltzing with our chromosomes, fiddling with our genetic makeup. And every one of those two million or more characters are part of our ancestry — our crazy, mixed-up family if you will.

Confronting this reality can have a rather humbling effect on us. But running through this mixture of humanity and leading straight to us is a common thread. Each of our ancestors, in her or his own way, thought of God. Each, in her or his own way, sought God, prayed to God, struggled mightily to know God, or desperately tried to ignore the reality of God.

Jesus identified Himself to us, in today's Gospel Lesson, as our only Source of power to achieve wholeness of life. Without Him, we are powerless to fulfill our human potential. “Cut off from Me you can do nothing" are Jesus' exact words (Jn. 15:5).

He asks us to believe in him. He asks us to repent. He asks us to change. He asks us to make a once-and-for-all decision to get right with reality. He asks us to begin seeing ourselves in an entirely new light. He asks us to begin living our lives in a whole new way.

There is nothing more important than being right with reality. In psychiatric language, a person who is “detached from reality" is a person in serious trouble. A person who tries to grow palm trees in Alaska is doomed to failure because he or she is out of touch with reality. [...]

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