â€œIt was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,â€
We are now celebrating the Sixth Sunday and the start of the Sixth Week of the Easter Season. Is the thrill gone?
In the first few weeks of the Easter Season, we stood in awe with the apostles and disciples as they continually encountered the Risen Lord. We could sense their joy, the celebration and thrill that lifted their hearts and opened their minds to the truth of Jesusâ€™ claims. He was indeed the fulfillment of all contained in the Law and the prophets.
Jesus had spent this time connecting the dots for His followers and so armed them to bear fruit by lived faith, to continue the message of freedom that is the gospel, and to bring people to repentance and membership in His body, the Church. As we heard last week, to graft people onto the True Vine.
We all know how it is. We spent time celebrating, thrilled, but now we have to turn what we learned in the celebration into physical action. We have to move the trill to lived witness to the risen Lord. Today, next Sunday, and for the rest of the year, we reinforce how we should be living.
Looking forward, we know what Jesusâ€™ followers did not quite grasp, that Pentecost was coming, that Jesusâ€™ instruction we will hear this Thursday, to remain and pray, would situate them for the awesomeness and trill of that day. Everything He had been teaching them, all the dots He connected, would in a flash of the Holy Spiritâ€™s coming. pour out of them and into the whole world. Is that power pouring out of us? Is that trill with us or are we bored by Jesus?
In todayâ€™s readings and gospel, we see Jesusâ€™s direction, how His followers carried it out, and how we should be doing it; what should be pouring out of us as we remain thrilled to be His followers.
It starts in the great commandment â€“ restated today, This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
Peter understood it in the house of Cornelius where people he would never associate with became his brothers and sisters in the Lord, who also received the Holy Spirit. He saw the trill they encountered, knowing Jesus changed them completely, and he was again renewed.
John, the disciple Jesus loved, went on to continually proclaim the power of love â€“ for love is a thrill when it is lived genuinely, honestly, and effectively.
We live in the trill of being chosen, being free because of Jesusâ€™ resurrection, sharing in His love for us, and our mutual friendship. We are so free, and love filled, that if called upon we will give our lives for Him and each other.
Whatâ€™s next for us is what was next for the disciples, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, strong proclamation, a life defined by the gospel. And the everlasting trill of Jesus risen.