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The Abundant Life

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  -John 10:10

             The bumper sticker said: “If you don’t think money can bring happiness, you don’t know where to shop.”  I read about the Lutheran church near San Francisco that recently advertised a “money-back guarantee”?  “Donate to the church for 90 days, and, if you aren’t blessed, you can have your money returned.”

            As these two anecdotes illustrate, we live in a consumer oriented society.  Someone has said, we chose “churches not so much to meet God and surrender to his revealed ways as to satisfy some personal need.”

            It is hard for a culture—materialistic, affluent, and self-indulgent like ours–to hear a Biblical text like the one this      morning without distorting its meaning.  “I am come that they might have life…abundantly.”

            On the other hand, in southern Mexico where believers are being persecuted, how does it apply to the widow and children of Presbyterian. lay preacher, Malecio Gomez, 32, killed in a hail of gunfire and whose body was hacked with a machete?  In a world where a child dies of hunger every 5-6 seconds, 18000 a day, what does it mean?

            It certainly does not mean security from illness, pain, death, or provision for everything we want.  With almost monotonous repetition, John keeps telling us, not new things but confronting us with the choice to trust Jesus.

            For those who have trouble experiencing the reality of the abundant life or who confuse it with worldly goods and comfort Jesus offers himself.  It is about our relation to Him.  We belong to Him and He is that life, the abundant life.

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