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Showing posts from April, 2017

Sermon for Easter Sunday, Year, "With Fear and Great Joy," Matthew 28:1-10

Sermon 4/16/17 Matthew 28:1-10

With Fear and Great Joy

Each one of the four gospels gives a slightly different account of the first Easter morning. Each author wants to draw our attention to something slightly different. Luke talks about remembering and the words of Jesus throughout his final gospel chapter. Mark is, as usual, the most abrupt, telling us the bare minimum he thinks we need to know, and in the fewest number of words he can manage it. John brings us into more intimate encounters, showing Jesus and Mary Magdalene in a one-on-one encounter, and then Jesus in a meaningful encounter with Thomas, then Peter. And in each gospel, these nuances are what draws my attention, because in those unique qualities of each resurrection account, we can find the message the gospel-writer is trying to convey to us. So what shows up in Matthew’s gospel that doesn’t show up in other resurrection accounts? Let’s look at Matthew’s account. We find Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” heading to th…

Sermon for Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A, "Encounter with Jesus: Jesus and Martha," John 11:1-45

Sermon 4/2/17 John 11:1-45
Encounter with Jesus: Jesus and Martha

Today, on our last Sunday in Lent before Holy Week begins, we encounter a strange scripture text. I call it strange not because of the story itself so much – after all, Jesus is always doing incredible things in the gospels – but strange, at least at first glance, because this text shows up for us as a Lenten reading. In two weeks, we’ll celebrate Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday. We’ll celebrate Jesus’s victory over death with irrepressible life. And yet, in our text for today, we seem to get an early start on resurrection, with Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Even some of the musical suggestions for the day in worship planning guides seem confused, with lists of hymns that fit with the text choosing some traditional Easter favorites that we won’t be singing for another two weeks. What’s with this resurrection before The Resurrection? As with some of our other Lenten texts, there’s a lot to think about in these 45 …