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“Eternal life in our daily life”, John 17:11-19; 1 John 5:9-15; Psalm 1 / May 12th, 2024 / Seventh Sunday of Easter / Hope Lutheran Church, Rev. Lucas Andre Albrecht

Text: 1 John 5:9-16; John 17:11-19; Psalm 1;
Theme: Eternal Life in our daily life


Intr – You are watching a game with you friend and it is the final game of the series. Your friend celebrates every good play and gets super tense at every difficult moment. You go along and hug him in celebration and stay in silent respect in the tense situation. At the end, your team wins and euphory takes over. But then he notices you are not as shiny as he is. When he asks why, you answer him: “The game we were watching is pre-recorded, not live. I already knew how it ends.”

How does the fact that you know how the game ends impact the way you watch it?

There are two types of people in the world: those who have the Son and those who don’t. And if you have the Son, you have eternal life. This means that you know how the story, how the game ends: eternal life.[1] This is not wishful thinking; this is not conditional; this is not aspirational. This is real.

Knowing how the end will be impacts how life is right now. But the illustration has two sides. We are the person who know how it ends. But in a sense, we are people which, from a human perspective, still doesn’t know everything. So we have our moments of celebration and tension. Days in which we fell like a winner, and others we crawl like a loser. But in the end, knowing that we have and Eternal life has a direct impact on our we live our daily life.

We can see this from the reading today, as an example.

1 – PSALM 1 – a beautiful tree

We are planted by the streams of water and we give fruit. This is not theology of glory and prosperity. This is biblical theology in which we know that w give fruit in every season. We show our faith in Christ in rain and shine, night and day, tragedy and celebration. The fruit of our faith, unconditional trust tin Christ, shows forth because we are planted in Christ.

Do you think you are a beautiful tree planted where you are in your neighborhood, in your family? This is a Law question, which we all need to ask every so often. Good trees produce good fruits. But don’t think here only of the ones everybody sees. How nice and kind you are before the camera. Think about being patient with your family, being kind to your mom or dad, or son or daughter. Being supportive of people who need a helping pull, not a sinking push. Remember also that you are planted in Him, so these fruits come from being nourished by His Word.

2 – John 17 – PRAYER

Another way in which Eternal life impacts our daily life is a life of prayer. When faith is present in the heart, prayer is a natural consequence. This is something to check constantly in our life, especially our spiritual life. If prayer is not something present, that is a sign, a symptom. There is something deeper going on, and it relates to faith. Jesus is doing this in the Gospel today.

Some highlights of Jesus’ precious words in the Gospel:

11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

When it comes to our daily life of prayer, one of the important topics I see the need to be tackled and well understood though is connected to “answered prayers.” Hold on, I am not saying that God doesn’t answer prayers. Let me break it down for you. You pray for a person who is ill. Who fervently desires their healing. They don’t, they either stay ill, or even die. Do you say “answered prayers” here? Who want a job so much, you apply for it, you pray for it, there is no way God won’t see how that would be good for your and your family. No. The job offer hasn’t come. Do you say answered prayers then? I could go on and on here, but my point aligns with St. John in His Epistle: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” It is so hard to trust God’s wisdom and will, but especially when we can’t say answered prayers. Or better said, when the answer is not exactly the one, we designed so perfectly. Or even when the answer is silence. “Keep calm and carry on.” We can say “Answered prayers” for sure, as long as we understand that God always answers prayers according to His will. And as we pray according to His will.[2]

 3 – 1 John 5: Faith and SUPPORT

Eternal life also impacts daily life in the ways in which we support each other, as John invites us to in his first epistle. For example, the tragedy happening in Southern Brazil. It is amazing to see the ways in which people from near and far are pooling together to help. Just this week I saw that some people have already put together an app for reconstruction. You can download it, state your needs and search for people and places who are able to help.  Here John is talking about a point that is often forgotten and sometimes even mocked in our world: thoughts and prayers. Especially prayers. “We don’t need thought and prayers to sky daddy, we need action.”

My question is: does one exclude the other? Does it mean that Christian prays only and never act? This is absolutely not true, as we see the massive amount of helping work done by Christian organizations around the World. However, Christians act based on prayer. Why? Because in prayer, we align our will to God’s. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” You go out to help and you wish things would happen one way, and they don’t. You trust. You wish tragedies wouldn’t be that hard, but they are. You trust. You desire to make suffering go away in the blink of an eye. It doesn’t, you trust. You pray and trust. Even Jesus did that. This is what we see in John 17. Jesus is praying for His disciples according to God’s will. Jesus acted; he went to His cross; he gave his blood for you and me. But His thoughts and prayers were also with His disciples, with you! Think about it: Jesus prays for you. And he acts for you!


Today is Mother’s Day, and as we reflect on the impact of eternal life on our daily existence, we think about the ways in which we acknowledge and give value to motherhood. Mother’s Day encapsulates the essence of daily life, wouldn’t you agree? A mom’s life is one, of joy and sadness, celebration and reflection, light and darkness. Some of us still have our mothers, while others have already entered eternal life. This is a day to give thanks to the Lord for the love, sacrifice, and nurturing spirit of good mothers he placed in our lives who have shaped our lives in profound ways. This is truly something to be celebrated! However, it can also be a day that evokes complex emotions, especially for those who have experienced strained or difficult relationships with their mothers, or even for those who have never had the opportunity to be mothers themselves. This complexity of emotions is a part of daily life; amidst pain, we find joy, and within joy, we carry sorrows. Some among us carry the weight of unresolved pain and yearn for reconciliation, while others face the silent ache of unfulfilled dreams of motherhood. By recognizing and embracing these complexities, we can create an environment where everyone feels seen and supported. What unites us all is the common experience of having or having had a mother, even though the way this plays out in each of our lives is unique. What unites us also is that eternal life impacts our daily life, also in this aspect. We know that God is always by our side, and we can bring everything to Him, for joy, comfort and peace. The reminder of the promise of eternal life offers hope and comfort, reminding us that God’s love encompasses all aspects of our lives, including our relationships with our mothers and our deepest desires for family and motherhood.

After all, God’s Word strenghtens our faith, as we know that we have eternal life. This impacts the way in which we will live our life and celebrate it in Him!

Cc – This week I was talking with one of our new employees and asked her, “How have you been surviving your first months here?” She looked at me and said: “Not surviving, pastor. I am thriving!”, adding “It is an answered prayer, it is a blessing to be here.” Then she asked me, “How about you, are you in the same situation”? I and had to agree, “Yes, I am thriving here too”. This happened as I was giving the last touches to this very sermon. Even though you know that my sermons are finished only after I preach them. But I thought, hey, this is a nice way to conclude my sermon because this is how Eternal life impacts our daily life. Sometimes we may think we are only surviving in this hostile world. But as a tree planted by the streams of water, who trust God’s will, pray for each other, and remain in the truth that is Christ. This is not just surviving. This is thriving in daily life – towards the life that will never end.


[1] I was once talking with a person who expressed her view about eternal life in these words: “No, I’m not sure if I would be in heaven or not, it would be too conceited of my part to state that. I leave it up to God; He knows.” The second part is right, he knows. But the first part is not. You can be 100% sure of your salvation. Because I’m telling you, because of your merit, because of the nice person you think you are? No. It is the opposite. Because of the sinful person you are, but a sinful person saved by the blood of Christ, and to whom promises were made. One of them is here in 1 John 5: “Whoever has the Son has eternal life.”

[2] One more thing. You might have been caught up in the “casting lots” thing in Acts, right? How is it that they rolled the dice to discern God’s will? First, certain things in Scripture are descriptive, not prescriptive. Remember when Paul told the Corinthians to kiss each other? When was the last time you kissed somebody when you came to Church? Another thing to consider is that this was the way they would elect somebody for a position in the Church. Think about the way we do today, for example, to call a pastor. We vote. We think we are not casting lots; we are being rational and discerning God’s will. Do we really? You know your vote, but nobody else’s. In a sense we are casting lots. So, it is a different method, but it has similarities. Also, in the fact that we do the same as the early Church. We don’t take one eligible person and then whomever else… we take two, three or four names in a sense telling God “Those are all good choices, and we trust Lord, you will make the “lot” fall on the right person” whether a pastor, a principal, a board chairperson, and so on. There is lots of “luck” and “randomness” in our process too if you want to use human words. But it is all aligned with God’s will for His people. Because Eternal life impacts the daily life of trust of the people of God.


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