5/26 What keeps you from abundant life?

Posted on : May 23rd, 2013 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

In my opinion, the central message of Jesus is not life with God (heaven) one day, but a thriving life, a life of abundance right now, finding quality and meaning in this life amidst all its mess and craziness. Christ came to set us free from everything from the past that is holding us back.  It begs the question, “What then might be holding you back to live the full life God has envisioned for you?” How do we claim Christ’s promise in John 10:10b, “I came so that they may have life and have it abundantly.” This is the central message of Easter: a new & full life, abundant life in Christ. This Sunday we will look at what abundant life means for you. I will share some of the pain from my own past, and how God and others have helped me find the abundant life that was missing.



About Roché

In the four years that Kobie was with us as our Seminary Intern, and then our Minister of Faith Formation many of you got to know Roché as Kobie’s husband.  They have been married for 24 1/2 years and are the proud parents of Cara and Leo who we also know and love.  When Kobie was called to Wilshire Presbyterian Church, I tried to negotiate having Leo and Cara stay here with us, but having two pastors and three churches on a Sunday morning, just wasn’t going to work!

I actually got to know and serve with Roché in 2006 when I served as the Guest Pastor at Brentwood Presbyterian Church, where Roché is the Associate Pastor.  For quite some time I’ve wanted Roché to preach here because he is an excellent preacher.  Long story short, we are blessed to have Roché coming this Sunday.

Roché’s Ph.D dissertation was the first comprehensive study of how the Presbyterian Church failed to solve the ordination of officers in same-gender relationships and same-gender marriages through implementing polity decisions, and not through theological discussion.

Roché says his friendships with Rev. Lisa Bove and me have shaped his inclusive theology.  Of course the fact that he also had Presbyterian disciplinary charges filed against him for officiating at Lisa and Renna’s Blessing service at Brentwood Presbyterian also brought us all closer together in the struggle for justice!

I’m really excited about you being able to meet and hear Roché this Sunday!




~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

John 10: 1-10

Jesus teaches about claiming life in all its fullness.

The truth of the matter is, whoever doesn’t enter the sheepfold through the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a robber. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep, the one for whom the keeper opens the gate.  The sheep know the shepherd’s voice; the shepherd calls them by name and leads them out.  Having led them all out of the fold, the shepherd walks in front of them and they follow because they recognize the shepherd’s voice. They simply won’t follow strangers – they‘ll flee from them because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.”

Even though Jesus used this metaphor with the Pharisees, they didn’t grasp what he was trying to tell them.  He therefore said to them:

The truth of the matter is, I am the sheep gate.  All who came before me were thieves and extortionists.  I am the gate.  Whoever enters through me will be safe – you’ll go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy.  I came that you might have life, and have it in all its fullness.

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