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What The Church Needs Now

...I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that will yield a rich harvest
Matthew 21:33-43

Sermon Topic Love

Sermon Week Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 21:43


Lemon trees are pretty, the smell of the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the lemon is impossible to eat. Many things in this life look pretty, smell sweet, but taste bitter. This was one of the most difficult lessons the disciples had to learn from Jesus about the New life He was offering them. Christ had come into their midst and called them to discipleship. He held before them this gloriously beautiful life in which they would know God as they had never known Him before. He held before them the exciting prospect of realizing the fullness of their humanity as never before. He held before them the blessed opportunity to develop a deeper sensitivity to God's world and God's people. He held before them a whole new meaning of love, beyond anything they had ever experienced. He offered them a richer, a fuller understanding of their own worthwhileness and a hope in the future they had never dreamed possible. But... Jesus also kept cautioning them, warning them, that with this beautiful tree of life and its sweetsmelling flowers comes a bitter fruit. He wanted them to know what they were getting into as His followers. He told them repeatedly that as they identified more closely with Him they would begin to love with a love so deep, so sensitive (so Christlike) that they would begin to take upon themselves the suffering of others. This is an inevitable consequence of the Christian discipleship. You cannot have one without the other. You cannot have the beautiful tree with the sweet-smelling flowers unless you eat of the bitter fruit. There will be suffering and rejection and persecution for those who live for others. Jesus spread all of this before the disciples but they didn't get it at first. It took a long time for it to sink in and to take hold of their lives. The Son of God literally had to die and be raised up again before this Spirit of God really grasped them at any deep level. It happened finally, at the most unlikely moment in [...]

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