A Sermon preached by the
Rev. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Text: John 15:9-17 (The Message)
9-10 “I’ve loved you the way God has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept God’s commands and made myself at home in God’s love.
11-15 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from God.
16 “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask God in relation to me, God gives you.
17 “But remember the root command: Love one another.
“I used to think there was something in me that was too precious to run the risk of mixing with ugly, ordinary things – a kind of mystical dream of something that might grow into something very beautiful, if I kept my mind up in the clouds enough and did not allow it to be soiled. I can’t explain it, but it was purely selfish. And now I know that life is clean, dirty, ugly beautiful, wonderful, sordid – and above all love. Just fancy, I even used to think I was rather good at that. I used to think being nice to people and feeling nice was loving people, but it isn’t, it isn’t. Love is the most immense unselfishness and it’s so big I never touched it.”
Florence Allshorn, in J. H. Oldham, Florence Allshorn and the Story of St. Julian’s
The day broke, bright and clear. Maybe it was beautiful spring day like today. Jesus and his followers had made it to the edge of the glorious old city. They could see it, shimmering in the distance, its magnificence crowned by Herod’s Temple, rising atop Mt. Zion. Today was the day they would enter the city itself, but not as they might have on any other day. Today would be special. Continue reading Things That Make For Peace