Sermon- Don't Stop Listening!, John 21:17 sermons -- Sunday Sermons preaching resources
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Don't Stop Listening!

Feed My Sheep
Acts 5:27-32,40-41; Psalm 30:2,4-6,11-13; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19

Sermon Week Third Sunday of Easter Cycle C

Scripture Summary John 21:17

An eighty-year-old father went to his daughter’s home for Sunday dinner. When the meal was over, he announced that he was going to take a walk through the neighborhood. “I’ll be back in fifteen minutes,” he said. His daughter began to worry when almost two hours had passed. When the father finally returned, he announced apologetically: “Sorry I’m late, but I stopped to talk to an old man and he just wouldn’t stop listening.”

In today's Gospel Lesson, some of Jesus' disciples are out in a boat fishing. Suddenly the Risen Lord appears on the shore and, soon, they are all having breakfast together. After they have eaten, Jesus initiates a lengthy conversation with Simon Peter, who of course, wouldn't stop listening:

"Simon, son of John, do you love Me?"
"Yes, Lord, You know I love You."
"Feed My lambs!"

"Simon, son of John, do you love Me?"
"Yes Lord, You know I love You."
"Look after My sheep!"

"Simon, son of John, do you love Me?"
"Lord, you know everything; You know I love You."
"Feed My sheep."

Notice, however, that the conversation doesn't end on that note. Each time Peter professes his love for the Lord, Jesus responds with a call to action: "Feed My lambs!" ... "Look after My sheep!" ... "Feed My sheep!" And, in so doing, Jesus ties together, for Peter and for us, our love of God and our love for one another. For Peter and for us, Jesus ties together the way of compassion as the way of being close to God. "Do you love Me? Then feed My sheep," He is telling us.

In First Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul recalls the time when he walked among the people of Thessalonica, saying,

"Like a mother feeding and looking after her own children, we felt so devoted and protective towards you, and had come to love you so much, that we were eager to hand over to you not only the Good News but our whole lives as well" (I Thess.2:7-8).

How beautifully Paul reminds us of our responsibility, as Christ's followers, not only to listen to the Word -- not only to proclaim the Word -- but [...]


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