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Sermon October 28, 2018

Good Morning  Here is the sermon from last Sunday. Please keep looking for God in your everyday life!  Pastor Marie

John 8 31 to 36 Grace and peace to you from God our father and our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Amen "You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free" We seem to be having a little trouble with knowing the truth these days. We are once again in the midst of an election, and I for one will be glad when we get to November 7 th. The competing "truths" we are being subjected to on TV and the internet, on signs and Facebook posts and tweets are overwhelming. I am also reminded that Jesus is headed to Jerusalem where Pilate will ask him "What is Truth?" Truth seems like a moving target in our gospel today. The Judean leaders, offended that Jesus implies that they are not free, make a statement that is questionable. "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, 'You will be made free'?" Never mind that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt for 400 years and all their major festivals including Passover refer gaining their freedom from that slavery; they are also not exactly free in their current situation. Under Roman oppression their freedoms are severely restricted! Even so that is not the freedom Jesus is talking about. In the world as it is no one is really free are they? We all serve somebody or something: Our boss, our profession, our Mortgage, credit cards, the need to be right all the time, food, the need for power drugs, perfectionism. These are some of the things we are enslaved to, I'm sure you could come up with many more. And this being Reformation Sunday we recall what Martin Luther admitting his own slavery to sin. So what is this truth that Jesus speaks of that will set us all free? It must be something hard to do, since we all struggle so much with it, and it is hard for us to accept. The truth is God loves us. God loves us so much that Jesus the word of God the truth of God's love, came and dwelt among us, living dying and being raised from the dead, all to show us, in a way we can understand, just how much God loves. It sounds simple. But it is very hard to believe and accept. We know this because we keep trying to find ways to earn God's love. The Judean leaders thought the way to God's love was through heritage. They were children of Abraham. Many people believe the way to God's love is to pray the right prayer, follow the rules, be perfect But none of those are the way to God's love The way to God's love is to receive the love of God. That is the truth that makes us free, receiving God's love as the free gift that it is. And what are we free for? Jesus said it: love God with everything you have and love your neighbor as yourself. Love others as Jesus loves you without judgement or prejudice. Care for those in need, lift up the oppressed, value the life of every person no matter their nationality race sexual orientation or poverty, love your family your friends and especially, as Jesus said, love your enemies!!! That what we are free to do, what we are called to do in response to God's amazing love. This is what Jesus would have us do. Amen Love God, love your neighbor, be the body of Christ in the world Rev. Marie Meeks Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church preachymarie@gmail.com

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