I have been struck lately, as I am sure is obvious, by the limitations of our tendency toward unhelpful binary thinking. So this Sunday I just lay it out in these two sermons where I think the limitations are using John 15:9-17 as my case study.
This passage of scripture has lots of really great things going on but I wanted to focus on verse 15, “ I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.” (NRSV) Jesus is telling us in this passage that we are not servants anymore. Most of us instantly think something along the lines of, “Hey! This is pretty cool. I’m not a servant any more so I must be a master.” Which is not at all what Jesus says.
There are all sorts of problems with “either / or” thinking but one of the problems is that we don’t always get the “or” right. In this passage it is clear that for Jesus the opposite of servant, the state of “not-being-a-servant” is not master but friend.
Knox Presbyterian Not a servant
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Not a servant
I hope you find one or both of these sermons a blessing. The Knox sermon is the longer of the two this week so if you can only fit one in you might want to consider that one.