There’s an old story that’s told about a young preacher who was called to his first assignment as Pastor of a church. The congregation was excited about his first day in the pulpit and the young pulpiteer did not disappoint. After the service the congregation congratulated themselves on finding this diamond in the rough, and quickly agreed that they could not wait until the next Lord’s Day.
When the following Sunday arrived the young pastor stood to preach. Within moments church members were a bit confused. The pastor preached with the same fervor and the same eloquence as before. The problem though, was that he preached the exact same sermon as the week before. In the parking lot church members expressed mild disappointment that they received the exact same sermon as the previous week, but quickly gave the youthful preacher the benefit of the doubt, assuming that it was first church jitters.
Week three arrived and the church was filled. To the surprise of the members, the pastor stood and preached the exact same sermon for the third week in a row. After the worship service dismissed, the board assembled in the church basement to discuss their emerging dilemma. After some conversation, the board agreed to send a representative to talk to their new pastor to see if they could understand why he only seemed to have the one sermon.
That week the board representative made an appointment to meet with the pastor. After their obligatory small talk, the board member asked about the three sermons. The young pastor pushed back in his chair and replied, “When our church members start living the sermon I preached, they’ll get a new one.”
John’s readers must have felt the same way. John had already addressed the importance of Christian love two times before he made his third run on the same subject in chapter 4. It makes you wonder if John felt as though he needed to be redundant to make sure his point hit home. This week I’ll be posting about Christian love and John’s helpful explanation that helps us understand what it really means to love one another and why it matters. Thanks for checking in, and thanks for referring your friends to my blog.