You Are Not Alone

This is my sermon from today, the Sixth Sunday of Easter. The gospel text is John 14:23-29. Doctor Who fans might think of this as my “Face of Boe” sermon.


Jesus said, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them. And we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:23)

You are not alone.

Jesus said, “I am going away, but the Father will send the Holy Spirit, who will teach you everything, and remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

You are not alone.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave you. My peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives.” (John 14:27) I think we’ve all learned that things in this world do not give unconditionally. Things in this world give to us expecting something in return. And in the end, things in this world leave us. Jesus does not.

You are not alone.

Scripture tells us that Jesus is with us as we gather here. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20)

You are not alone.

Scripture tells us that Jesus is with us as we share communion. Paul wrote, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16)

You are not alone.

Scripture tells us that Jesus is with us wherever we are. Paul wrote, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all.” (Titus 2:11)

Jesus said, “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

You are not alone.

But we feel alone. The authors of scripture knew this, especially those who wrote the Psalms. Psalm 23 says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” (Psalm 23:1, 4)

Psalm 27 says, “For the Lord will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble. I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:5, 13)

Psalm 145 says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him.” (Psalm 145:18)

You are not alone.

And Jesus also knew we feel alone. He said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

And he said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28)

You are not alone.

Sometimes we feel alone because of our guilt, like God could never forgive us or dwell with us. But John wrote, “If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

And Paul wrote, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

You are not alone.

No matter how lonely you feel, scripture tells us that God is always with us, because that’s what God does. The prophet Zephaniah wrote, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

You are not alone.

John of Patmos wrote, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more.” (Revelation 21:3-4)

You are not alone.

God is not in some faraway heaven. God is here, among us and within us. John wrote, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us.” (John 1:14)

And Paul wrote, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)

And when Christ is in us, he brings us together. Paul wrote, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27) Peter wrote, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) In fact, God never meant for us to be alone. The second creation story in Genesis tells us that after God created Adam, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” (Genesis 2:18) From the very beginning, God never meant for us to be alone.

And you are not alone.

And it is your calling to share the good news that you are not alone with the world. And we need not fear the world. We need not fear reaching out or asking for help. As Moses said to Joshua when he sent him out into an unknown future, “The Lord will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

You are not alone.

And so I join with Paul in saying this: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

You are not alone.

And I suppose the last word should be given to Jesus, who said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)


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