Following on last week’s sermon (on addiction) Rev. Cari preaches today on John 15:9-17, part of Jesus’ extended words to his disciples before his death, when he commands them to love one another.
In this text, he also “promotes” his disciples from followers (or subordinates) to friends, and declares that “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Rev. Cari invites the congregation to consider their own “mystical” experiences of God’s presence and love, as well as times in their lives when they’ve been “promoted” beyond their present capacity. She names the paradox inherent in this text, and in the gospel itself, that our spiritual growth involves both effort, and grace.