“Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Luke 24:5

 Probably my favorite line in the Easter story. It is a call to turn away from that which will kill us and embrace that which gives us life. We are an Easter people, first and foremost. Let us embrace that not just on Easter Sunday, but every day.  
This is the final day of our online Bible study. I’d be very interested in your thoughts about this experiment. I am thankful to the many who posted replies and went along with my prodding for more conversation. I am thankful to the many who read and pondered, even if they didn’t comment. Let me know what worked or didn’t work for you. Also, I’ll invite you to join Doug and me as we lead a more traditional, face-to-face Bible study beginning on April 23rd at either 2:30pm or 7pm, as we explore A Disciple’s Heart.

“Jesus said to her, “I Am the Resurrection and the Life.”” John 11:25

On Easter, in addition to the Easter story, we will look back at this moment in His ministry, when He raised Lazarus from the dead. The gospel accounts tell us that after the resurrection they remembered the things He said to them. So, what did they remember about this moment when they stood in the Easter light? Did they think He was just talking about Himself? Or that they were somehow included too?

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1

Our passage comes from the beginning of the Farewell Discourse in John. These are the final words that Jesus wanted to give to His closest followers. It is a word designed to comfort, to put at ease. And He starts with Believe in God, believe also in Me. Which because this is the Gospel of John, could be more appropriately translated as Trust God, Trust Me. How do we trust God in our every day lives? Can we trust God in our every day lives?  
BTW: I’ll be doing this again next week and then we’ll be done!  A good experiment, it seemed to me anyway.

“No one comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6

This half of verse 6 has caused crusades in the past, it has been the impetus behind the inquisition. How are we supposed to hear this Word? And perhaps more importantly, how are we supposed to proclaim this Word? In what spirit and with what intent?

“If you know Me, you will know My Father also.” John 14:7

  Jesus introduces us to God, brings God into our understanding. Why is this important? Is knowing and loving the same thing? We’re supposed to love God, according to the commandment Jesus reminds us of, but are we supposed to know God? Can we love without knowing?

“Jesus said to him, “I Am the Way, and the Truth and the Life.”” John 14:16

It’s Palm Sunday this weekend. So, we’ll read the Palm Sunday story. But will also lean into the passion story by listening to Jesus talk to His disciples before His suffering and death. The “him” in this verse is Thomas, who interrupts Jesus’s discourse with the question “How can we know the way?” What do you hear in Jesus’s response to that question?

“So that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete” John 15:11

Jesus wanted us to be joyful. Even as He is talking about following His commandments and about needing to be pruned, He tells us this is so that we might have joy. He also indicates that our joy is only complete when it is partnered with His joy. How do you understand, or how have you experienced complete joy?

“Every branch that bears fruit He prunes to bear more fruit” John 15:2

Mother Teresa supposedly said, “It’s no wonder God has so many enemies when you see how He treats His friends.” Is pruning to bear more fruit unnecessarily harsh? Why do even those who are doing good things seem to suffer? Why aren’t we promised an easier life as long as we do good things for God?

“Abide in Me as I abide in You” John 15:4

 How do you imagine abiding? Jesus uses this word a lot when describing the Christian life. We are called to abide in Him. So, how do we go about doing that day by day?


Lent 5: “I Am the True Vine” John 15:1

We’re nearing the end of the Lenten journey. This week we focus on the 15th chapter of John and Jesus statement that He is the True Vine. “True” has lots of meanings, as you know. Most real, perhaps, true as opposed to false, true as in the most perfect; there are lots of ways to interpret the word true. But I’m interested in Vine. What do Vines do that speak to us of Jesus? Any vine growers out there? My dad tried grapes for a while, found out if was a lot of work. How do you hear Jesus’s statement that He is the Vine?