It has been a joy to get acquainted with so many of you as we begin our journey with me as senior pastor. It has been a busy summer with camps and mission trips and we are now preparing for an active fall as well.
The phrase “More to life” captured my attention from the first time I visited the KUMC website. I was reminded of the words of Jesus in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (NRSV) The Greek word for abundantly is “perissos”; it literally means “more”. Jesus is telling us that he came so that we might know that there is “more to life”. There is “more to life” than any particular situation or disappointment. There is “more to life” in any moment when we choose to trust Christ.
The “life abundantly/more to life” words of Jesus are at the end of Jesus’ teaching in verses 7-10. In this passage, Jesus also states that He is the door through which His sheep enter to experience the abundant life/more to life. The abundant life that Jesus promised has nothing to do with collecting more stuff. It has everything to do with accepting the gift of what Christ has done on our behalf. It is about accepting the abundant life both now and ultimately in eternity.
In his commentary “The Gospel According to John”, G. Campbell Morgan tells of a conversation he had with Sir George Adam Smith, a scholar who had spent much time in the Middle East. Smith told of meeting a shepherd there who showed him the fold where the sheep were led at night. It consisted of four walls with a way in. Smith asked, “That is where you go at night?” “Yes,” the shepherd said, “and when the sheep are in there they are perfectly safe.” “But there is no door,” said Smith. “I am the door,” the shepherd replied. He was not a Christian man, but rather an Arab shepherd. But he was using the same language that Jesus used. He explained further, “When the light has gone, and all the sheep are inside, I lie in that open space, and no sheep ever goes out but across my body, and no wolf comes in unless he crosses my body; I am the door.”
George Matheson’s hymn captures the power of Christ’s love best – “O Love, that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee; I give Thee back the life I owe, That in Thine ocean depths its flow, May richer, fuller be.” The key to experiencing more to life in Christ is accepting what Christ has done for us, letting Christ live in us, and letting Christ love the world through us.
– Dr. Burt Palmer