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Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in Me
Acts 7:55-60; Psalm 97:1-2,6-7,9; Revelation 22:12-14,16-17,20; John 17:20-26

Sermon Week Seventh Sunday of Easter Cycle C

Scripture Summary John 17:20

Some years ago, the pollster George Gallup was asked to comment on what his polls were saying about “the correct state of religion in America.” What he said, in part, seems as relevant today, as ever ...

The two major trends really are a search for depth in our society – people seeking spiritual moorings -- and the search for relationships. People need to rediscover each other... We are fragmented. Families have split apart.

Mr. Gallup went on to describe many American Church-goers as assenters rather than believers: They assent to faith. They assent to the beliefs which one so meant to believe, but they don’t necessarily believe them. If you consider that a belief is something to be acted upon, then these people are merely paying lip-service to what they think they should believe. If we were truly as religious as we sound, the ethical nature of our society would be vastly different. To which I will add, how we long for that day.

We think of faith in terms of belief, and rightly so. Faith is believing something. It has been said that faith is believing what you know is true but cannot prove on any rational level. But in Gospel terms, belief is simply the doorway to the House of Faith. Matthew's Gospel contains an incident in which Jesus spells this out clearly and directly. In the story, the people are trying to bring their children to Jesus and the disciples are trying to get the children out of His way. In their view, Jesus has more important things to do than to be bothered with the antics of little children, and so they are trying to protect Him. But Jesus insists that the children be allowed to draw near to Him. Then He tells the people that if they want to become the kind of persons God wants them to be, they must follow the example of those little children. "Let the little children alone, and do not stop them coming to me," Jesus says, "for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs" (Mt. [...]

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