Sermon of August 20, 2017

“Are You In Position?” – August 20, 2017 by Wayne J. Schneider – Credo in Unam Deum Are You in Position? St. John 15:9-17 With every election, from the PTA to the presidential, there are appointments to positions of authority. As we have experienced in this past presidential election, ‘special appointments’ are given to those who have been the most supportive during the election process. History reveals that this procedure is somewhat successful, but the appointees are usually ordinary at best. High accomplishment depends on whether the nominee’s experience fits the requirements of the position. President Jimmy Carter choose his friend Earl Butts to be his Secretary of Agriculture. Since Mr. Butts had a history in farming, he appeared to be a good fit for the appointed position. He lost credibility, however, when he spoke of the invasion of fire ants in the U.S.   On National television he talked about the problem, sharing information, which was a good thing. If you have experience with fire ants, you understand that it is wise to do everything in your power to dodge the pain of an encounter with their anger. His credibility was hurt, when he placed his hand and arm into an aquarium filled with fire ants, and stirred the dirt mounds, expecting small nibble-like bites. Instead, as programmed by God and in protecting their turf, the ants did what they were expected to do. There was chaos on the stage. With each appointment to a position, even with perfect matching, there is a risk of failure and pain from fulfilling our obligations. In St. John 15:16-17, Jesus assigns an important position. He appoints his disciples, those who both love and follow him, and you and me, to the top most appointment in the Church. Jesus says, I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.” Jesus uttered these words immediately after he had assured his followers that they were his friends. He does not use the term ‘servant’ because in most cases a servant does not know what his master’s plans are. Rather, Jesus call is from God the Father. All of this was a segue to their appointment to a life of love. I find it fascinating that Jesus chooses his followers to love others and to do acts of mercy to others. But he adds a caveat, a warning, to love yourself through the gift of Jesus. That my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. I think Jesus was encouraging...

Read More