Here's an excerpt:
...if we are going to ever reach a point of moving this denomination into God’s preferred future, if we are ever going to find a way to make our church relevant for the 21st century, we must find a way to respect one another more deeply and cooperate with one another more significantly. This conference should remind us that the church cannot change without all parties, or at least most of them, finding a way to compromise, cooperate, and respect one another. That applies to liberals and conservatives, central conferences and U.S. jurisidictions, young and old.
And I'm reading today's passage from the Gospel of John. Jesus is talking to his disciples, and even they have a hard time accepting his teaching. Many of them give up on him and walk away. Jesus asks the ones who remain, "Do you also want to go away?"
Peter, not unusually, speaks up, "To whom else can we go? We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
Even those closest to Jesus have the choice to walk away. Some take the choice. But, some have not only heard Jesus' message, they have come to believe it.
Why ever they were first attracted to him, they are now staying for the right reason: they know that he is the Sent One of God. (I've been reading Ronald Allen & Clark Williamson's Preaching the Gospels).
Modern-day application: How do we get people to come to church? How do we get them to stay? Why do we stay?