John 15:18 – 16:33
Pastor Chris Tweitmann
Our Lenten journey continues as we listen to Jesus share with us his final instructions, what is formally known as his “Farewell Discourse,” before he hands himself over to die. Jesus is talking to his disciples as they make their way toward the Garden of Gethsemane. When we last left the conversation, Jesus told us we have been called to go into the world in his name.
Specifically, Jesus appointed all who follow him to go and bear fruit. Jesus makes it clear, this fruit bearing for the Kingdom of God comes as a result of abiding in him. He is the vine and we are the branches. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. Following him means going and bearing fruit.
This Sunday, as we pick up from where we left off, Jesus shifts the dialogue. Having articulated his call for us to go and be fruitful, Jesus now offers an honest and upfront assessment of what we will be facing along the way. He is going to prepare us for what lies ahead in following him.
What Jesus is going to share with us is dramatically different from how the experience of being a Christian and of being the Church is often framed in today’s world. We might be surprised, even shocked, by what Jesus is going to tell us.
It is not always easy to tell other people hard truths. It is not always easy to hear that the road ahead is not always going to be smooth or without obstacles. As we’ll learn, following Jesus isn’t always going to be easy. However, as we shall also discover, Jesus isn’t just offering us some perspective; as always, Jesus will offer us real and living hope for the journey.
Wherever you are in your walk with Christ, you’re going to want to hear this word from the Lord. You’re invited to come and be encouraged this Sunday.
Grace to you!