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Hot Coffee and Cold Truth

Keep those You have given Me true to Your Name, so that they may be one like us
Acts 1:15-17,20-26; Psalm 103:1-2,11-12,19-20; I John 4:11-16; John 17:11-19

Sermon Week Seventh Sunday of Easter Cycle B

Scripture Summary John 17:11

According to the familiar legend of the "Emperor's Clothes," three evil men seek to exploit their ruler by offering to create a magnificent robe for him for a very high price. The Emperor goes along with the proposition, and the three men pretend to be sewing up the great garment. Then they announce that the garment is finished and proceed to go through the motions of putting the phantom robe on the Monarch.

"Surely you can see what fine clothing this is," one of them says. "Only a fool could not see it so!" The mesmerized ruler is convinced that this is indeed the finest robe in the Empire. Soon, all the people in the kingdom are convinced that he is wearing the most beautiful robe ever made and that only a fool would not agree. Finally, the Emperor goes out among his people in a grand procession. Although he is completely naked, the people cheer, and they marvel at the beauty of the non-existent garment. However, there is one exception – a young boy who, in his innocence, is unaffected by the people's departure from reality. Seeing things as they are, the boy shouts out for all to hear, "Look! The Emperor has no clothes on!" After which all the people feel like complete fools — including their Monarch.

In a novel called "Short Term," the principal character is a forty-two-year-old businessman named Ken. Ken was "successful" in the business sense of the word. He had all the money he needed. But he was not a joyful man. He was afflicted with a kind of low-level depression that never left him. Because he wasn't himself ever, he knew something was very wrong. He said at one point that he felt like a person cheering at the top of his lungs for absolutely nothing. There was a continuous depression for Ken, with only a few faint rays of light along the way. One thing that he kept remembering was the lovely girl he had met in France during World War II. He had thought for a time that he loved her [...]


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