1. Acts 6:1-7
2. 1 Pet 2:4-9
Gospel: John 14:1-12

         " What happens when we become troubled?"

Dear friends today we celebrate the 5th Sunday of Easter. In the gospel Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled. He gives us an assurance that He is going to prepare a place for each one of us and that He will come back and take us to our prepared place- custom designed, by Jesus himself, for each one of us. And this is the good reminder for us. It's like a light bulb going on over our heads- like they do in cartoons. The light bulb to us is the reminder that we are called to spend our lives in close relationship with Jesus, being of service in the ways He has called us to be, while he is custom designing a dwelling place for each of us.

Dear brothers and sisters, in order to be sure we are ABLE to do the things we are called to do, first and foremost  we have to unload some things from our lives- the things we AREN'T called to do, but have taken upon ourselves. These are things that block the light of Jesus out of our lives and keep us from doing the work He has for us. Thus let's face it, - It is Easy to let our lives get so crowded that the light of Jesus is crowded out- we get so busy that Jesus gets blocked out- and then  we wonder why things aren't going well- we wonder why we feel like we are sinking fast?!!!
Let us listen the following story that helps to illustrate what might be the problem.

Once upon a time, brightly colored hot air balloon took off from the coast of Maine. Its destination was the coast of France, and its name was the DOUBLE  EAGLE II. 3,000 miles of great blue Atlantic stretched before the hopeful crew. Soaring by day and drifting by night they rode the wind for three nights and two days. However... on the third morning, while they were still a few hundred miles from Europe's coast- things changed. Gray clouds surrounded them. Ice crystals, looking deceptively beautiful, started to form on the five-story balloon.
Soon the ice weighed hundreds of pounds- and began to force the balloon downward. Thus with no solar rays permeating the gray clouds, there was no heat to melt the ice. The crew's plight was inevitable, unless all excess weight was eliminated from the balloon, they would plunge into the deep blue sea.

They started throwing books out-canned goods- everything  non-essential was pushed out into the sea, but still the lack of the sun kept the ice firmly in place, and the balloon continued down. And the problem was not the ice, but the lack of SUNLIGHT.  The balloon was going down. 8000 feet, 6,000.  Thus they sent out their distress signal- MAYDAY!! MAYDAY!!MAYDAY!! they radioed. At that point they gave their position and look down into the kind of angry Atlantic that accompanies a gray, sunless sky. And when they were only 4000 feet from the dark blue ocean, they shoved out their radio- their touch with the world. And then it finally happened. They leveled out and began to rise. They broke through the cloud cover and into the sunshine. They ice began to melt, allowing the balloon to soar again- its burden having been lightened by the sun.

They landed safely in the French countryside.
They had done what they set out to do.
Their mission was accomplished.
They had reached the prepared place.

We are invited to understand that what our mission is - today. Our mission is to reach the place that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare for us. You might find that you are soaring along nicely, in your balloon called life, fully intending to accomplish this mission.
However, if you begin taking things on like the Double Eagle II, be careful how much you load into your life. The more you load in, the more you crowd out the SON and without SON light you are doomed. Things will start to sink fast. May be you, like lots of other people, have already overloaded your balloon. May be you are feeling  that descent already.

There is no other solution  to the problem but to unload your balloon so that you can be reached by the light of the SON, who even now has a place prepared for you. Your mission for today and tomorrow and all your days is to get rid of everything  that blocks your contact with Jesus. He said that where he is, there you may also be. He wants you there and he's coming  back to get you.
Unload your balloon so that you don't  sink before he gets here. What needs to go? For each of us that will be different, and for each of us that is the task at hand- discerning  what is causing  the OVERLOAD in our lives- what needs to be UNLOADED.

Dear brethren sit now for a few minutes and think about the things have you loaded into your balloon called life. What has to go? What definitely has to stay- what are the essentials and what are the Un essentials. Continue to think about that as you go through this week, and let us begin that thought process now.

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Chapisha Maoni