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Summary: A Sermon for the 6th Sunday after Easter

6th Sunday of Easter

John 15: 9-17

"Friends"

9 ¶ As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.

10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.

15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

17 This I command you, to love one another.

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

I would like to reread two verses from our gospel lesson this morning.

12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus is speaking about friendship this morning. He is speaking about loving one another. But what does not really mean for us today.

How do you love someone? How are you a friend?

The next two stories illustrate at least two aspects of what friendship and loving are all about.

Listen:

A lady, during one of the coldest spells of the winter’ noticed an eleven year old boy standing barefoot over a heater grate on a street corner selling his evening newspapers.

"Son, where are your shoes and socks?" asked the lady.

"I ain’t got none!"’ was his reply. Taking the boy by the ham she led him into a department store and bought him some thick wool socks and heavy shoes.

The boy quickly ran out of the store, but then turned suddenly toward the lady and asked," "Lady, are you God?"

Surprised the woman said with a smile on her face, "No,,but I am one of his children."

"Well, I knowed you must have been kin to him somehow," said the boy as he ran off to continue selling his evening papers.

Another story of friends found in Harper’s Weekly.

"200 feet above the East River, workmen were constructing the Manhattan tower of the Queensboro Bridge many years ago. Two workman were working at the very top waiting, for a steel beam to be brought into place by a crane. There were several men working below them and several below that all the way down the line.

When the the beam arrived, the two men at the top began to fasten it in place, but all of a sudden the beam began to slip. The few rivets that were holding the beam would not keep it from falling and crushing the men working below. The two men knew that couldn’t hold the beam and they knew it was sudden death for the men working below.

But instantly one of the men turned to the other and gasped. ’’I’ll stick to it if you will,"

The other nodded and they held onto that beam. Meanwhile below, the men saw the emergency, and hurried with ropes to tie off the beam to stop its downward plunge.

These two men saved the rest from certain death, but in the process, they lost a hand as the beam smashed the hands that were holding it "

Friendship, love, caring these are the qualities which were seen in these two stories.

The lady was a friend, to that 11 year old boy who was standing bare foot in the winter cold.

Loving friendship knows no boundaries. The two men on top of that tower, knew the workman below. They knew the families, they knew the heartache that a tragic, sudden death might cause, so they were friends enough, loving enough to sacrifice a hand so that others might live. Jesus says, "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Friendship, loving our neighbor is the way Jesus says we can love God. Friendship, loving our neighbor means we are willing to give something of ourselves for them.

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