Have you ever taken a moment to imagine what your life could be like in one, three, five, ten or twenty years?  Have you ever poured out your heart to God praying that your hopes for the future would become reality?  I thought of these questions this past week when I heard the story of Mr. Steven Mallory.  Two decades ago, NPR All Things Considered Host Robert Siegel, interviewed Steven shortly after he decided to stop selling drugs, where he made $500 to $600 a day.  He was part of a counseling program called “Parents’ Fair Share.”  Robert Siegel says, “Mallory struck me as a young man with imagination – a quality I didn’t see in the other men I met in the program back in 1995.  He could imagine a life completely unlike his own – no gangs and drugs, no welfare dependency, a solid family, savings.”  After twenty-two years Siegel wondered how the future turned out for Steven.  You can listen to how Steven’s future turned out here.

In our scripture for this Sunday’s sermon from John 15-19, Jesus gives Peter a vision for his future.  He asks Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”  Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”  After asking him again if Peter loves him, Jesus says to him “Tend my sheep.”  Then after the third time, Jesus says to Peter, “Feed my sheep.”  Jesus paints a picture of Peter’s future life.  Peter’s love for Jesus will be embodied by Peter’s care and love of Jesus’ sheep.    

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Just as Jesus gave Peter a vision for his future, God has hopes and dreams for you.  Sometimes life circumstances can make imagining that future difficult.  Sometimes, our character cracks can get in the way of that future becoming reality.  Sometimes we have a dream for the future, but we are not sure how we are going to get there. 

This Sunday, we’ll explore not only how Jesus restored Peter and released him for ministry, but also the steps we can take to flourish in our lives so that we, like Peter, can feed Jesus’ sheep.

Pastor Dave