One Love; One Blood; One Life
Psalm 23
First John 3: 16-24
JOHN 10: 11-18

God …

Three little letters with the first one capitalized but therein lies the question I am posing for the hour.  Who is God to you?  And, perhaps a question that many of us need to contemplate … how many gods do we have?

In the Psalm of the Living that was our psalter today we shared words that people of Christian and Jewish faith have repeated many many times …

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.

In that simplicity aren’t we declaring a love relationship with God?   One need fulfilled; One love with the Creator that realizes that in our times of trouble God is with us.  Perhaps no one else is there but God’s love just doesn’t stop.  One love that restores our soul.  One love that brings the peace that we all can find sitting along fresh still waters.  One love.  One love that all too many people don’t have in their lives.

One of our challenges I think is that we want to exclusivity; in this 21st century world all too many of us want it for ourselves but because we are oh so deserving, right?  But, in God we discover that God’s love covers all not just me and God is not just mine but his … hers … the addict with the needle slowly pulling out of the arm … the homeless and the prisoner … the urban dweller and the country club member … the flag waiving patriot and the dad who crossed the border to work for his family … God’s love is there for all.

FOR ALL … as we celebrate Cody’s baptism together this morning we have stated a God connection and made promises to God but God wants more than a connection; God wants us to be willing to lay ourselves across God’s mighty arms in full trust and confidence.  God has firmly stated that humanity shall have no other gods who come before the real thing … and therein lies out problem.  We want to control the Jesus in our mind even play Jesus; we want to small box God into a notation on a memo that we pull up from time to time; and we most definitely don’t want God to interfere with our daily lives until … until we have that one need in the middle of the darkness of hurt and struggle and we cry out MY GOD … MY GOD why have you forsaken me …. When truthfully God doesn’t get up and leave in the morning; God is always God and God is always there.  God’s love has not vanished and the ultimate truth is we each need to do what we should do and that is life’s ultimate task.  But we are asked to pick up our cross and to follow.

To discover and then hold onto God.  The living God … the Creator God … the God whose ONE LOVE for you and me resulted in the blood of the One named Jesus so that having One LIFE eternal could be made easy for each of us.  Believe, love and follow.

Friends … it should be right in here <<Pointing to heart>> love for a Creator whose very existence is beyond human understanding but when you have God you sense God.  You want to shout out BLESSED BE THE NAME and fall to your knees at the same time.  A reality not a reality program for tv but find someone who knows the Lord and you can see the love in their eyes … their priorities have changed … they have been to those still waters and have had their souls restored by God who is not a work of fiction or the creation of zealots but living and watching over creation each and every day; offering love, hope and forgiveness.

But unlike our Roku’s, amazon fire’s, and cable remotes … we can’t just switch to the god channel for our daily fix only to switch channels when we get bored.  Too many want a 21st century experience that they can post to SnapChat without having to buy in but when did you ever have a love relationship of strength that allows you to toss aside the one whose love you expect to be there for you without having to share in the relationship.  The really awesome thing with God is that in this one life we get … God makes it rather easy if we are willing to give up those other gods and focus on the One.

Our Gospel message gives us a sense of Jesus; the Easter Jesus; the Resurrected Jesus who went to the cross for all of humanity.

The good shepherd lies down his life for His sheep.”

And, in John’s Gospel we hear that Jesus gives up His life for everyone but the discovery of God is not relegated to words on a page because I can find other words … I am reading Mark Bowden’s book on Hue; I have Shakespeare’s plays in a hard bound cover; and the poetry of Maya Angelou inspires me.

But God is real and Jesus laid down His life for transformation of humanity … ONE LOVE, ONE BLOOD, ONE LIFE.  In my life’s journey it has been pretty clear to me that most people are truly seeking peace, hope, happiness … but this morning where are you?  Those of you here in this small sanctuary of worship … those of you on Facebook watching from B&B’s; nursing homes, and kitchen tables for your Sunday worship time with God …

Where are you in relationship with God?  The process … the roadmap or I should say the GPS or Smart Phone’s voice of direction should be taking the you to a place where you inhale the deepest breath you have ever taken … because you need to shake off the world; put aside your life’s every day priorities to connect with a restorative power that created the universe.  God is rather easy to find if we put aside the distractions and honestly call out GOD … GOD I need you.  The Ocean, the stars, the birds in the air, the complexities of the human exoskeleton blended with the network of nerves and veins that maintain life … only a God could create humanity; only a God could create the expansiveness of the universe; and to think we were all created in God’s own image.

You might consider your life this morning and when you get home open up the Twenty Third Psalm again to ask …. <<CHRIS YARD begins singing U2’s ONE>>

Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame
You say…

One love
One life
When it’s one need
In the night

One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don’t care for it

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without?
Well it’s…

Too late
Tonight
To drag the past out into the light

We’re one, but we’re not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other
One…

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head?

Did I ask too much?
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now it’s all I got

We’re one
But we’re not the same
Will we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again

You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law

You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can’t be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should

One life
With each other
Sisters
Brothers

One life
But we’re not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

One… Life

One

Jesus the Christ God’s One Love gave up His Blood so that we can live but those restorative waters David wrote about in the psalms.  The experience of God … it comes down to living God and we need to carry each other because when we believe we are not the same and yes … we get the privilege of carrying each other.

John wrote

“This is how we know love; Jesus laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  Love with action and truth.  The person who keeps God’s commandments that we love each other will experience God.  God remains in us.”

God’s love … God’s truth … for each of us; for Cody on his day of baptism and the challenge of the Psalm and faith.  God is there with restorative blessings but we need to go into the world willing to carry each other; the hurting and the different with One Love because of the One Blood and at the end of the day we each only have One Life to live and as Joshua stated for me it is with the Lord our God.  I pray that is your choice too.

God … God is so much more than three little letters.  Take the time … so you can truly state “I fear nothing because You are with me.”

In this land that is so plentiful at the end of the day… I say blessed be the name of the Lord!   The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want!

AMEN

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