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Summary: A Sermon for the 7th Sunday of Easter

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7th Sunday of Easter

John 17:6-19

"Filling A Vacuum"

6* “I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me, and they have kept thy word.

7* Now they know that everything that thou hast given me is from thee;

8* for I have given them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from thee; and they have believed that thou didst send me.

9* I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine;

10* all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them.

11* And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

12* While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13* But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

14* I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

15* I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.

16* They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

17* Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.

18 As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.

19* And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. RSV

Grace and Peace to you from our risen Lord. Amen

"One day a small boy was trying to lift a heavy stone, but he couldn’t budge it. His father passing by, stopped to watch his efforts. Finally the father asked his son, "Are you using all your strength?"

"Yes, I am," the boy yelled,"I am using every lost bit of energy and strength I have. As the boy talked he sounded exasperated and worn out."

The father turned to the boy and said, "No, you are not using all of your strength, you haven’t asked me to help you.

So the boy asked the father to help, but still that stone couldn’t be moved. So, the father asked his older sort to help, but still they couldn’t move it. Then a neighbor was asked to help, then another neighbor, and another, and finally with each one giving all their energy and strength to the project, the stone was moved!

After everyone had left, the father turned to his son and said, "You see, when we all work together, when we use our strength together, then we can accomplish some things that any of us by ourselves could not accomplish. Unity, togetherness, working together can add greater strength to any project."

I would like to tell you a story about an imaginary man, but maybe he isn’t so imaginary.

"There once was a happy man who w born in the city of Regeneration and attended the church of Repentance Unto Life. He was educated at the school of Obedience, where he also learned, kindness, love, forgiveness and patience.

He has a large estate in the country of Christian Contentment, where he gives Generously of all that he has, but never does he look to acquire more and more. Many times he does jobs of Self Denial. He wears the garment or Humility and has another suit to put on when he goes to Court, the Robe of Christ’s Righteousness.

Each morning and evening he Partakes of Spiritual Power, through Prayer. Each Sunday he eats the Bread of Life and drinks from the Cup of Eternal life.

Each Sunday he adds to his assurance of eternal life by listening again and again to the promises of God in the Word and preaching. He falls asleep each evening with a smile on his face, because he knows no matter where he may wake, he will be a Happy man."

The two stories I just told you illustrate the kind of person Jesus is praying for in our gospel lesson this morning. The lesson is part of Jesus’ High Priestly prayer.

As we heard in the story about the little boy, there is strength in unity as Jesus is praying for his disciples. In the story of the happy man we see that being a Christian means that somehow you and I are different from the rest of the world. We live our lives in the world, but not of the world. We live in truth which allows us to view life differently from others who do not know Christ.

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