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I am with you – John 15:1-17

Right now, I am writing a preview for this Sunday’s sermon. My email program is open in the background in case my office needs to contact me. I have a Facebook tab open in my browser in case someone messages me. My cell phone is in my shirt pocket so I can be reached by text. I have push notifications set up for my news apps and Twitter so that if the world is about to end I will be the first to know. I am writing a preview, but my mind is wondering about what else I am missing.

How can I possibly be present in the moment when all of those other things are on my mind? Worse, how can I be aware of God’s presence when all of those other things are on my mind?

This week we are going to continue our series on the Upper Room Discourse by looking at John 15:1–17, Jesus’ famous “vine and the branches” parable. In it, Jesus reminds us that we are absolutely dependent upon him for our spiritual nourishment and that we can’t do anything unless we abide with him. That means slowing down and recognizing our complete dependence on Jesus.

But that’s the challenge, isn’t it?

I don’t know about you, but I long for the kind of life that Jesus describes in John 15. I can’t think of anything I want more.

But I get distracted.

There’s too much else going on. I don’t even realize how much smart phones, computers, iPads, and television distract me from being present with God until I consciously slow down. Then, I am embarrassed that I let my life get that way.

This week we are going to look at Jesus’ parable of the vine and the branches and we are going to talk about slowing down to be present with God and present with people. I’ve needed to write this and I know you need to hear it.

I am excited about our time together! See you on Sunday!


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