John 15:1-17    Ephesians 4    1 Cor 12-13

I’m still thinking about John’s daring vision of the church in this passage…a community… where individuals are known for the acts of love they do in common with all the members rather than their individual gifts.  John tells us that the way to measure how well the church is working is how well it loves…not who its members are.  I have to believe that this was something radical then and it clearly is today because our society really does seem to emphasize individual accomplishment.  Some of you might say, “well what about Paul’s thoughts on this subject”?  Good question…I think if you take the time to read the passages from Ephesians and 1 Corinthians…you will see that John and Paul agree.  It’s what makes the promotion John offers so challenging:  servant to FRIEND.  First Pres can be a premier place where anyone…regardless of who they are or where they have come from…where anyone’s desire for loving connection with the vine and its branches can be satisfied.  It is a tough challenge – are you up to the challenge?  Can you bear the burden of being promoted from servant to FRIEND?