For those of you who have been in worship over the past several
weeks you will be very familiar with this text since I have been
preaching on it since the beginning of the month. This week we will
be talking about Jesus as "the life." Note that Jesus does not say
he is life, rather he adds a definite article in proclaiming himself
"the life." In that simple "the" there is a world of substance. What
Jesus understood is that there are many lives available to us. One
choice leads to another and then another and then another with the
sum of those choices being the course of our lives. To wit: I was
tired of Oklahoma (shockingly!) and wanted something different so I
went to the University of Kansas. After a couple of vapid years I
realized I needed something more in my life so I interned at my home
church during the summer. Enjoying that job, some suggested
seminary. After another year I agreed and made the decision to go to
seminary and so on...Had I not left Oklahoma or gone to another
college would I be a minister today? That is very unlikely. Rather
each choice builds upon itself, shaping the course of my life.
If you think about it your lives were shaped in the same way and
when Jesus says he is the life what he is reminding us of is the
consequences of our choices. We are called to make choices that draw
us closer to God, not further from Him. When we look at our lives
and the decisions that lie ahead of us we ought to remember these
words of Jesus and seek out the life, not just a life. Anyone can
lead a life but those of us who seek to follow Christ are called to
live the life. The life is rooted in Christ's love and teachings.
The life reminds us that we are to seek fellowship with God. The
life tells us to love our neighbors and our enemies and everyone in
between. The life is particular, special, Christian. The life is
rooted in the truth of Jesus Christ. Today, ask yourself, am I
leading a life or the life? Then ponder that. I can tell you that,
for me, there is no life I would rather lead than the life.
Prayer: Holy God, you are the source and root of all life.
Thank you for calling me into being and for giving me this life to
lead. Help me to use the time I have been given to follow you
through Jesus Christ. It is in his name that I pray. Amen.
[text from file received by Phil Blackburn, First Presbyterian