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Showing posts from May, 2011

Lectionary Notes for Ascension Sunday, Year A

Readings for Ascension Sunday, 6/5/11
Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 47, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53


Acts 1:1-11:
Luke's account to Theophilus, Part II. The ascension is such an interesting part of what happens to Jesus, in that, for most, it is something we care about least. Where does it fit in our Christian faith? Is Jesus' ascension important?For me, the importance of the ascension is that we are now left without Jesus physically present - that means we have to do it now - we have to do the work that he has been teaching and teaching about. No excuses, no right-there Jesus to do it for us. Just the Holy Spirit to be our Advocate. Jesus' ascension means that Jesus really is asking us to get to work.Ah, those men in white robes again. They're almost like stage directions in a script - they let you know what's going on that is not, apparently, obvious in any other way. I think if I ran across them they would raise more questions for me than they would answer!Luke says that …

Sermon for Fifth Sunday of Easter, "Resurrection Responses: Stephen"

Sermon 5/22/11 Acts 7:55-60
Resurrection Responses: Stephen
Today we’re shifting our usual gears a little bit. Instead of looking at the gospel lesson today, we’re taking time to examine a story from the book of Acts – the Acts of the Apostles, the book, written by Luke, that records the development of the early church, the struggles and triumphs of the disciples who tried to carry out Jesus’ message after he returned to God. It is another one of our Resurrection Responses – how the disciples and first followers, first church members, responded to the resurrection of Jesus, the promise of new life. Today, we examine a particular life found in Acts, that of Stephen, a man who takes up a small two chapter space in our scriptures.Stephen is known as the first martyr of the Christian faith, the first person who gave up his life because of his belief in the teachings of Jesus as recorded in the scriptures. Today we read in Acts the account of Stephen’s death, as he was stoned by an angry mob…

Sermon for Second Sunday of Easter, Year A, "Resurrection Responses: Thomas"

Sermon 5/1/11 John 20:19-31 Resurrection Responses: Thomas I know some people have been brought up, one way or another, in a spirituality that discourages asking questions, that looks on doubts and questions as disrespectful sometimes, or dangerous, or at least discouraged. But I consider myself pretty lucky not to have had that influence – I was encouraged, if anything, to ask questions about my faith. AndI was lucky to find people in my life that were willing to talk to me about my questions, to try to share their own answers, or, blessedly, to sometimes say the most honest words, the too-often underused words: I don’t know. I think our faith grows through our questions and doubts. At the least, our questions and doubts at least show we are interested and engaged. I would rather have a Bible Study group, for example, full of people with questions to discuss, rather than a room full of people who just want – or already know – the answers. And at the best, I think our questions can lead …