Excerpted and translated from a sermon preached at Niagara United Mennonite Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., on April 26, 2015. It is based on chapter 21 of the Gospel of John, the well-known story of the disciples back in Galilee shortly after Easter.
There are some verses in the Bible that we studiously avoid thinking about, let alone discuss publicly. They are like repressed memories or family secrets that threaten to cast us back into shame and confusion, to undo the semblance of peace, fellowship and orderliness that we have so diligently cultivated for ourselves.
With my colleague Doug being away on holidays, this past Sunday and next Sunday I'm going to try my hand at a two-part sermon series on some themes in the second and third letters of John. If you've read both letters you'll know that they are probably two of the very shortest books in the Bible. And as I read second and third John this week I realized that both of two short books point back - intuitively enough - to the first letter of John. The first letter of John is a bit longer - almost four pages - and it seems like a more developed version of John's second and third letters.