Episode 20

April 25, 2024


B220 Easter 6

B220 Easter 6
By the Well
B220 Easter 6

Apr 25 2024 | 00:32:59


Show Notes

Fran and Robyn discuss Acts 10:44-48, Psalm 98 and John 15:9-17

We mention Willie James Jennings Commentary on Acts

and Eugene Peterson's The Contemplative Pastor

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Speaker A: You're listening to by the well, a lectionary based podcast, preachers recorded on the land of the Wurundjeri people. Hello, everyone. I'm Fran Barber. [00:00:18] Speaker B: And I'm Robyn Whittaker. [00:00:20] Speaker A: And Robyn and I are going to be discussing readings for the 6th week after Easter. And in particular, we'll be looking at acts 1044 to 48, psalm 98, and the Gospel of John, chapter 15, verses nine to 17. So, Robin, beginning with acts this week, this is a follow up from the text for Easter day. We've got a fragment of frustratingly only four verses, so feel free to extend them. Well, not that you need me to tell you everyone, but, you know, to extend it. This is a small part of a much larger episode that begins with Cornelius, a roman centurion soldier, basically, who's a believer and has a vision to. That his slave go to get Peter, or Simon and Peter to bring him back, and what happens after that? [00:01:26] Speaker B: And then Peter has a vision. That's right, of that classic blanket vision that the lectionary skipped at this point in the year of God, declaring all things are clean, basically to eat. So we're in this part of acts where, I mean, we've been going there from the beginning, but here I think we're at a fairly pivotal part of acts where the inclusion of the Gentiles is now going to be embodied in very real terms. We've already had some glimpses of that. So I think, Cornelius, if you were going to preach on these just four verses, you don't necessarily need to read the whole of acts ten because it's a long chunk of text, but preachers should tell the story. And I think that story begins with Cornelius. Cornelius, at the beginning of the chapter, he's clearly gentile and he's called an italian soldier. And that's quite important. I was reading something recently from a sort of historical point of view, that most soldiers, I think when we imagine any soldier or centurion in the text, we imagine a Roman. But in fact, the practice before 70, before the jewish war, was that they would draw on local men to serve in the army, Jews and gentiles. So most soldiers would have come from Samaria, would have spoken the local language, all of that. So the fact that he's an italian soldier and the greek word there is italian, not translated Roman, is doubly othering him. He's foreign and he works for Rome, but he's a God fearer. He's devout, he gives alms and he prays constantly, and therefore God comes to him with this vision, and he is this individual story that I think exemplifies the welcome and inclusion of gentiles. And then when we get to verse 44, we're going to see that happen at a group level. So we're getting this individual example and then a mass kind of. I think that's why that story is important. [00:03:15] Speaker A: Yes, yes. With those details that I hadn't quite known about regarding his italianness. Yeah, that's right. [00:03:22] Speaker B: So what happens in verse 44 and onwards, Fran? [00:03:26] Speaker A: Well, it's the utterly dramatic act of the Holy Spirit, which is really the book of acts in total, isn't it? It's what the book's about, really. But I am struck by the Holy Spirit falling on all who heard the word, not landing or not touching them, not wafting through, but falling on them. And the Jews are described as circumcised believers, so it's very unambiguous. [00:03:58] Speaker B: Yes. So, you know who's who. Circumcised believers and the uncircumcised are of course, the gentiles or non Jews. [00:04:05] Speaker A: Yeah. So I guess the problem to, the problem for the hearers is that. Or to the community Peter's speaking to is that this radical word has been heard by those outside the jewish fold. And how can this be? [00:04:25] Speaker B: Yes, if we can backtrack a little bit to verse one. One of the things I've heard said about this is it can be easy to be a bit jokey and go, well, while Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit kind of burst in as if he's interrupting Peter's speech. Or, you know, you could joke, or maybe Peter was carrying on a bit too long and it got a bit too boring even for the Holy Spirit. But I don't think that's actually what's happening here, because the Holy Spirit is falling upon those who heard the word. Right. So it's intricately connected to the act of preaching. And like, as you know, I think most people listening are preachers. Some, we know some people listen to this podcast just to get into the lectionary readings for their own personal faith. But there's something profound here about the Holy Spirit's action being so deeply tied to the words we say. And sometimes despite the words we say, certainly. But, you know, it's not an either or. It's actually that this charismatic, this proclamatory work we do in preaching can give birth to the activity of the spirit. And I don't want to lose sight of that, even though it's a little. [00:05:33] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And. [00:05:34] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:05:35] Speaker A: And through Peter himself, there's something about the individual speaker. [00:05:38] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah, that's right. So, I mean, the big question is, how do they know the Holy Spirit's been poured out? [00:05:45] Speaker A: Well, here it would suggest there's an echo here of acts two with the speaking in tongues that happened at the first coming of the Holy Spirit in acts. So, I mean, logic would suggest to me that that's a signal here, that that's how they know. [00:06:05] Speaker B: Yeah. And again, if I can be pedantic here, so it is possible. So it's a glossa word in Greek. It is possible to translate that as speaking in tongues in the sense of ecstatic utterance. And we know other religions at the time, there were hellenistic cults and stuff that had practices of ecstatic utterance. But that same word appears in chapter two in acts with that first story where the apostles and there, it's very clearly defined as others heard them speaking in their own language. And we get that long list in acts two of all the different languages and dialects. So I can't help but wonder if we're supposed to understand that connection. And so the sign of the spirit is people speaking in other languages. It's not necessarily ecstatic. [00:06:57] Speaker A: No. And something I was reading, I think, Willie James Jennings commentary on acts. He talks. He actually highlights this little bit here as being evidence that Paul and his accomplices are listening. And Jennings talks about the currency of the new order is a holy joining of people. And this happens through intimate engagement in a home and relationship in the broader sense, but also listening and hearing one another. [00:07:35] Speaker B: Yeah, that's beautiful. [00:07:36] Speaker A: And the profound shock it is to hear this from those who they consider to be outside, outside the place of possible witness. [00:07:50] Speaker B: And I think that would go well with what I think is probably the more accurate translation, although acknowledging it's nuanced or both are possible, is they could hear them speaking in other languages and extolling God. Like, how do they know they're extolling God? It's because they actually understand the speech. And so the gift of the Holy Spirit is about that bridging of difference. Right. I think that makes more sense of the context and what you're saying Willie Jennings points to. So the NRSV does have speaking in tongues. And this is not to say people don't have spiritual experiences where that might include ecstatic speech. I'm not wanting to negate that, if that's part of someone's practice, but it has also, in some traditions, been tied so closely to a gift of the spirit that you're not seen as a full Christian who's been given the spirit if you can't speak in tongues. And this is one of the verses that gets used to do that. And I think that's problematic and over reading it. But it does have a question about baptism here, Fran, and I'm going to ask you a theological question that I'm not too sure about. You know, I think it's a challenge to some of our traditions if we tie the gift of the spirit too closely to baptism, because here they are seen as two separate things. I know in our liturgies we talk about with water and the spirit. Do you have any thoughts about how we tease out? Because here they're saying the spirit's been given first, so we can't withhold baptism, which suggests that perhaps the practice was to baptise and then expect the gift of the spirit. And they're saying, so God has disrupted their own ritual order already. [00:09:33] Speaker A: Right. And so what's the problem? What's the problem? [00:09:36] Speaker B: Well, I'm just wondering what the implications of that might be for any contemporary practice or perhaps a push against any kind of hubris in the institutional church that somehow we can control or limit the spirit to the certain rituals in which we invoke the spirit. I don't know. That's just where my mind went. [00:09:53] Speaker A: Well, I mean, definitely we can domesticate the spirit in that way. Which leads me to really want to emphasise here the radicality of what's going on. I mean, Jennings says that we've taken this radical act for granted and as christians seen it as expected and normal, and that we've got this idea of a universal God that was eventually gonna come through because that's what happens. And Israel's just this sort of doorstop on the way to what we've all been waiting for, which is not what's going on here at all. So we've domesticated that. So, yeah, of course we do domesticate the Holy Spirit. I think it's hard to tease. How do we know whether the spirit is, you know, in terms of the church's processes and rituals? I don't know. I haven't got an answer for that. I mean, I'm thinking about infant baptism, the practice of that which is contentious for some other traditions. But we see the movement of the spirit, don't we? Or the grace of God preceding what. [00:11:06] Speaker B: We say and accepting preceding consciousness and action and. [00:11:10] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, which. So maybe we invoke the spirit, we pray for the presence of the spirit. But we're not. [00:11:18] Speaker B: We can't control it or we don't contain it or. [00:11:21] Speaker A: Yeah, and actually our liturgy is properly understood and practised. Declare that. [00:11:26] Speaker B: Yeah, I think that's right. I think for me, in this whole bit of acts, this whole chapter ten, both this scene and the Cornelius story is a reminder which we, of course, theologically know, but I think we so often forget, is that God is already active out there in the world. Sometimes before, you know, before we are, before the gospels, you know, before the gospel as we understand it is proclaimed. I mean, in this country, here in Australia, you know, indigenous christians will talk about the great spirit that's part of their creation stories is this sense of, you know, there's a sense that God was present in this lands before colonial people brought the Bible. Right. And I see echoes of this here in, you know, Cornelius and these other gentiles have entire lives of spiritual practice with God before anything like the official apostles came along and did official things like baptise them. It's perhaps just a reminder of the expansiveness of God that we try and contain. [00:12:28] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah. Which we got to hold together with the radical unexpectedness of this as well. Yes, but. [00:12:35] Speaker B: And who is it radical? Is it radical because this is not how they thought God was going to act? Like, what's the radicality? [00:12:40] Speaker A: Well, the jewish people did not think that's how God was. They did not think that they would be witnessed to by those outside. And what we need to take from this, too. And again, this is Jennings saying that as christians, when we witness, we witness first to Israel, we echo back and don't see ourselves as the next chapter in any developmental sense, that he's better off. [00:13:08] Speaker B: No, we're witnessed to by their stories and then we witness back and they hear. [00:13:12] Speaker A: They hear their story through. Back to us. But I would want to, like, they stay. They invited him to stay for several days. Now that is crazy stuff. Like he didn't enter the home of some of a gentile, let alone stay there and enjoy the hospitality. So, you know, Jennings talks about this great, groundbreaking interlude that's occurring here, that is occurring in a home that will have reverberations across the roman empire and rip through people's understandings of social categories and how God operates. And I mean, I'm emphasizing that a lot because I think we read these stories sometimes without really recognizing. [00:13:57] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:13:58] Speaker A: Disruption. [00:13:59] Speaker B: Disruption, yes, I think that's right. Incredibly disruptive and incredibly radical in terms of upsetting their categories of how they thought God acted. Or what it meant to be God's chosen people, etcetera. And I mean, so the question I would be posing, I think, if I was preaching on this, would be, where might God be trying to disrupt us? Or where are there areas in our own contemporary churches? You know, it's hard to anticipate the disruption of God because the whole point is it's radical and disruptive and you can't. [00:14:32] Speaker A: So we can't know, but we need to be prepared to be disturbed and shocked and open to it and open to that. And that it's not some logical conclusion that we can predict or that makes sense to us. And I think in our risk averse world, in the west, anyway, that's pretty tricky. We're not terribly good at it. I do want to draw a connection with the psalm. [00:14:56] Speaker B: Yeah, let's go there. [00:14:57] Speaker A: So psalm 98, everyone, which is not a long psalm, but I sing it, captures the joy and is a fabulous liturgical psalm, this one for your liturgy. But the opening, the first line is about a new song. And I just think that's a really beautiful language to describe what we've been talking about and is happening in acts here. [00:15:23] Speaker B: Yep. And all this language of bursting forth in Gladsong, the newness. So, I mean, this again, is that, that loop where I probably push back a little bit on Jennings, although not having read all of that, I may. [00:15:34] Speaker A: Not have completely represented it accurately. Sorry. [00:15:37] Speaker B: But these things of God doing disruptive things and new things is also everywhere through the older testament. Right. And so the psalms, a good reminder of that, that this is actually consistent with the God who's been revealed. [00:15:51] Speaker A: So I'm sure he wouldn't say that it was a different way of operating. Yeah, yeah. But just that in terms of here, this is a world shattering thing in a way that hadn't quite happened before. [00:16:07] Speaker B: Yeah. And I love the verses three and four, really, or verse three, really, I think captures some of the dynamics of acts as well, like the kindness and faithfulness of God to the house of Israel. Right. So first to Israel, first to the Jews. All the ends of the earth have seen. So there always was this expansive, like, yes, to Israel, but for the ends of the earth to witness this, that. [00:16:29] Speaker A: This psalm goes Israel and then nations and then all creation pretty much is the flow. So. Yeah, yeah. [00:16:40] Speaker B: Rivers clapping hands and mountains. It's very expansive, isn't it? [00:16:44] Speaker A: And it's also about. So therefore it is about God's Yahweh's sovereignty over everything and kind of reordering the world in the right way, through justice and righteousness, and speaks of the peoples, all the peoples, presumably not just Israel. [00:17:04] Speaker B: Yeah, that's right. [00:17:05] Speaker A: Equity. [00:17:06] Speaker B: So it's an. Yeah, it's both the expansiveness of God and that invitation for the whole of creation, by the time we get to the end, to actually be part of this rejoicing. Well, this new song, well, it's music. [00:17:19] Speaker A: Like there's a lyre, there's a sound of the horn. Like I would, you know, encourage people not to sort of race through those words. If you do hear or read something like somehow embody them in the music that you're singing, or. Yes, I haven't looked it up, but I'm sure there's a sung version of this. Yes. [00:17:35] Speaker B: And hopefully one that's vaguely joyful and not a dirge. [00:17:38] Speaker A: No. Now, Robyn, would this be a good point, perhaps, to have a look at one of the questions that our listener has offered into our chat? [00:17:54] Speaker B: Yeah. So we have a question from Emma, and this is a question about what's the. It's about sermon preparation. So what's the ideal amount of time for preparing a sermon, and particularly for ministers who have many other demands on their time in a congregational setting? And how do you think about preaching as a priority amongst all the other tasks in the week, and how do you go about sort of making time for it? So this is from someone who's in pastoral ministry and obviously struggling with the long list, and you and I have both been in settings like that. [00:18:28] Speaker A: Yeah. So, I mean, I think of. And this is not new folks, but Eugene Peterson's book, the contemplative Pastor, I think it is, has some really great advice around how you plan your diary and that actually you put things in the diary like sermon preparation in there, so that when people say, oh, can you come and do x? Provided it's not urgent, obviously deathbed stuff, you can say, oh, look, no, actually, I'm not available then, but I'm, you know. So this is about both keeping it in your mind and your figurative diary or literal diary as a core part of the week. It's also modelling to the people the importance of the time required and that you're doing them a great service as well as God. By setting aside this time, we have a colleague who did. I don't know where she got told this, but to some extent you are set aside to chew your pencil and look out the window, as in to reflect in ways that others in their lives can't. So I would be encouraging, insofar I know as it's possible without stressing yourself out to try to embody that practice. But I also think probably it takes about 8 hours to do a decent sermon over several blocks of time. Blocks of time, I agree. And I also would say it's a creative exercise. And you know, my pattern seems to be that I go into a trough of despair that this is all hopeless and I don't know why ever I thought I wasn't going to be able to do this and it's all a disaster. And then that seems to be the necessary process. And I was somewhat warm to learn of a very recognised australian author who claims to have the same process. She's in her eighties, so I guess it's path for the course for some of us. Not that I would compare myself to. Well, not I'd compare myself to this author, but. So I don't know, that's part of my response. [00:20:30] Speaker B: Yeah. When I was in congregational ministry, I used to, it would be kind of the first thing I'd do on a Monday and I took a different day of the week off. I would blank out, as you say, there's some practicalities about just blanking out time. Blank out at least half of Monday. And the other thing I would do is I would start with the primary text. I mean, this is what I tell students for exegesis. Two don't leap straight into commentaries, don't leap straight into reading stuff online. And a million other things sit with the text. And that is a slow and prayerful as much as anything if you know biblical languages. I used to make myself, even though it was painful, attempt to read what I could in Greek, partly because reading it in another language does slow you down again. So you sit with it and you ponder what a word means and it really slows you down, instead of going, ah, the story of the good Samaritan. I know that one. And it's very quick to skip over it. And I would do it early in the week, because even if I wasn't actively thinking about my sermon while I did all the other things you do, I felt like it made me attentive to that. I think it was always there, right. [00:21:38] Speaker A: Subconscious work happening. [00:21:40] Speaker B: So as you did your pastoral encounter, or you had your meetings or whatever else you were doing that week, it would help you almost shape a sermon themes. And then I often wouldn't write it until Friday or something. But you know, I'd read some commentaries, part of my practice back in the day, before podcasts. [00:21:57] Speaker A: Yeah, part of my practice too was, is together with a colleague. So I had a small group locally and we didn't. Was not every Tuesday, but a lot of the time. And I know there are other groups now and who do on Zoom, but you do that initial reading yourself, but then you just gather for an hour and it's a check in with colleagues how you're going anyway. But it's also a chance to nuff over this week's reading. So. And then, you know, like in the way we live our lives, if we can. If we can afford it, if we've got enough time. It is important to go to movies and read novels and poetry. And the newspaper. The newspaper, yeah, obviously. But these all do play into our reading of the world, which is largely what we're doing when we're preaching. We're actually also interpreting the world, in a sense, through the eyes of the gospel. So that's a big picture. [00:22:54] Speaker B: Yeah, but I agree with you. I would say on average, I would spend at least a day a week on my sermon in a congregation, which might seem like a lot of time to dedicate 20% of your time, but it is the only time in a week you're seeing such a large part of your community all at once. [00:23:09] Speaker A: Barbara Brown Taylor. I think it was her, or maybe it was Anna Carter. Florence said that this is where you see most of the people most of the time. [00:23:14] Speaker B: That's right. I also am a big fan of William Williman's. Take that. A sermon is also pastoral care. So a sermon does multiple things. But if you're attentive to your sermon, it is also a way of caring for your community. So it is not to say you never go do pastoral care as well, but it is part of your pastor carefully. [00:23:32] Speaker A: It's tied into. And we know that sort of how that works in action, because we know when you're in a new placement, how your first funeral goes is really crucial. Like you, there's a lot of. And I don't want to put it in these terms, but I will, like runs on the board. Or there's, you know, if you hold that space well and you preach the good news in amongst that sadness, et cetera, that carries a lot, which shows how much the preaching is very important. Discipleship. [00:24:01] Speaker B: Yep. [00:24:11] Speaker A: So, Robin, John 15 917. Abiding and loving. Loving and abiding. [00:24:17] Speaker B: It's our favourite passage, commanding to love. So we're in the middle of Jesus, or not in the middle, but we're in Jesus farewell speech here, which is these couple of chapters in John's gospel. Where Jesus just says a lot of things. And it's called the farewell speech because it's kind of final teachings, as the author has arranged it. A whole lot of Jesus teaching kind of shaped into one huge speech before. [00:24:40] Speaker A: At the narrative level, that it's a time of high anxiety. Presumably it is for all his followers as well. [00:24:46] Speaker B: That's right. They're looking towards, you know, Jerusalem and the cross and knowing this is coming. [00:24:52] Speaker A: So there's a comfortable. Sorry, I interjected, but there's a huge sort of comfort in the abiding, I think so. And the integral connection between Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit and the people. [00:25:07] Speaker B: Yep. So the abiding language, I mean, here I do get, again, annoyed with the lectionary at times. Abiding language makes sense again in the context, if we go to the start of chapter 15, where the. The image. So there's a whole lot of symbols and images Jesus uses here. And it starts with the vine and the vine grower and the branches and the vine, and so abiding starts. Jesus teaching in this section starts with a really practical image that a branch can't survive disconnected from the stem or the trunk of the tree or the plant. [00:25:39] Speaker A: Right. [00:25:40] Speaker B: So abiding is this deep and very real connection that is death if you're not, you know. [00:25:46] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:25:47] Speaker B: Without which we do not survive. And so he's playing on that when we get to verse nine with the abide in my love. So immediately the question for me is, okay, we've had this very kind of visceral, you know, clear image of a point of connection, but what does it mean to abide in Jesus love? So we're suddenly in this nebulous thing in the way that a branch abides attached to the trunk of a plant or something. [00:26:16] Speaker A: And then we have, like, I problematize the text a bit further when it's like, well, the love is no. Is to lay down one's life for one's friends, which logically, in the story, we know Jesus will do. Yes. And, well, on the one hand, we know that's been really kind of plucked out and misused in terms of use on war memorials and so on. Or plucked out for a different sort of a use, maybe, but also that most of the time, we're not going to be in that situation. [00:26:50] Speaker B: No. And I think. I think this is a little bit hyperbolic. So I did a little bit of reading about ancient friendship for this, and, you know, christians didn't invent it. In fact, around this time in philosophy, there was a lot of reflection on friendship. And to quote a new Testament author, Gail Audet, she talks about in the classical period, a false friend was one who was not available in a time of crisis. But hellenistic or greek discussions of false friends began to focus on those who only had their own betterment in view. And then she talks about the flip side. So we would call that a fair weather friend, right? The friend who disappears when life gets tough. And then she goes on to talk about how, you know, there was this idea, even if it wasn't tested very often in real terms, that a friend would suffer with you and actually suffer for you. So Jesus is playing on these philosophical ideas, or John, the author, is, but all with the shadow of the cross. So Jesus has embodied this kind of friendship and is now asking them to continue to embody it too, which is reciprocal. It's mutual, it stays in the hard times. [00:28:03] Speaker A: It's keeping his commandments. Yes, being loved and chosen. And it means knowing what's going on. [00:28:09] Speaker B: And they're not slaves. Right. So the juxtaposition in verses 14 and 15 is, I don't call you servants or slaves, doulos, any longer. So the hierarchy of a master slave servant is being done away with. And it's been replaced with a friendship model, a relationship that is about mutuality and reciprocity. [00:28:33] Speaker A: The laying down of the life is like the echo in the synopsis, is denying yourself and taking up your cross, which at the level of our discipleship, without thinking about the greek friendship context, seems easier. Although I'm not saying, of course it isn't easy, but, like, I can. I can more work with that one. [00:28:56] Speaker B: Yes. Yeah. I mean, depending on your context, it could be worth trying to unpack that verse 13 a bit. I mean, it is a verse that Vladimir Putin paraphrased when he sent soldiers off to war from Moscow to Ukraine. And that was his charge. He paraphrased this biblical verse to send young men into war, which I think is such a misuse of its intention because this is a voluntary laying down of life. And by all reports, these young russian soldiers who get conscripted are not voluntarily doing this for friends. So all the context of friends and love and abiding in love is missing when this first gets plucked out in a kind of a situation of war. [00:29:43] Speaker A: Yeah. I would also highlight the really important phrase, this is my commandment that you love one another. So it's a commandment. We commanded something, presumably. And I think I can say logically that we will not. We can't what we don't have need it to be commanded to us if we're going to do it naturally. So the sort of notion of love is some sort of a sentimental thing or lust or when we tend to like to fall in love. So there's something else about what this is claiming of us that is not the normal course of events. And so I think what this is teaching us and what the church also knows, is that love is hard and it's an action. Right. And it's an action. [00:30:28] Speaker B: It's embodied and acted out. It's not like a fluffy feeling. [00:30:31] Speaker A: And is it not an action that is setting aside one's judgment of that person and what we think should be happening with that person, full stop, or in relation to us, and setting that aside as being God's business and that the. That the love is to be present for them, where that is, even though it's not what we want to be doing at all or what we think should be happening. [00:30:56] Speaker B: Yep. [00:30:57] Speaker A: Which is what Jesus doing on the cross. [00:31:00] Speaker B: Yes. And also, if it's a command, I would say in terms of our contemporary christian communities, where there are sometimes some people who are hard to love. [00:31:08] Speaker A: Most of us are. [00:31:09] Speaker B: Or hard to like. [00:31:10] Speaker A: Well, most of us are some of the time. [00:31:12] Speaker B: Some of the time, at least, yes. You know, the command to love, then, is the command to act in a loving way, even when someone is driving you crazy, or even when someone is that entirely difficult person who rubs you the wrong way. So we do need to do some unpacking of this friendship and love language, because I think in contemporary western culture at least, friendship is the people you like to hang out with. And love is a fear, and both of those things don't quite capture what's going on. [00:31:41] Speaker A: And you think about Jesus like he's been betrayed by Judas and denied by Peter. They're presumably his friends. [00:31:48] Speaker B: Yes. [00:31:49] Speaker A: And he loves them like he's going to the cross in an act of love, even for them. [00:31:54] Speaker B: Yep. And this is the gospel, John, where at the very end, after the resurrection, his big question to Peter will be, do you love me? Feed my sheep. Right. So, you know, do you love me? That's how you show. You follow Jesus is you love him and you feed, in that analogy, the sheep, but his other friends. [00:32:13] Speaker A: Or you bear fruit, as in, let's continue the vine image in this particular passage. [00:32:17] Speaker B: So, last thing I'll say, I think we're almost out of time. I also just want to flag there's joy here. So love leads to joy. If we abide with Jesus doesn't mean life is peachy all the time or prosperous or anything else. [00:32:31] Speaker A: Well, but not in this story at. [00:32:33] Speaker B: All at this point. But there's deep joy in this kind of relationship with God. [00:32:37] Speaker A: Yeah. And that echoes the psalm, the message of the psalm as well. Thanks for listening. [00:32:46] Speaker B: By the well is brought to you by pilgrim Theological College and the Uniting church in Australia. It's produced by Adrian Jackson. Thanks for listening.

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