Well, since it’s ready, and since I don’t think anyone from the congregation in Sutter Creek follows my blog, here’s what I expect I will preach for the Second Sunday in Easter:

Imagine what it must have been like.  A week ago, Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem.  Thursday they all gathered for a special meal with Jesus.  Later that night, Jesus was arrested.  Friday morning he was tried and brutally executed while they all hid (and some of the women, braver than the rest of them, watched from a distance).  Today they were hiding, barricaded behind locked doors, waiting for the sound of footsteps which might mean that they too were being arrested …  Fear was in the air.  And that evening, suddenly, something unrecognized appeared in the room with them!

“Peace be with you,” they heard.  But they did not experience shalom.  There was no wholeness or completeness or being in harmony in their hearts. They might well have thought they were seeing a ghost. They must have been scared witless!

But Jesus, it was Jesus, showed them his wounds.  They recognized him by his wounds, (more…)

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There was a strand in yesterday’s office reading from Jeremiah that I hadn’t noticed before.  In it, starting at 15:27, Jeremiah says:

I took no pleasure in sitting with merrymakers; with your hand on me I sat alone,
choking with the indignation you filled me with.
Why is my pain ongoing,
my wound incurable, refusing to heal?
Why, you’re like  a spring that dries up when it’s needed most,
like waters that can’t be relied upon!

The commentary in The Jewish Study Bible suggests that Jeremiah has failed in his office of being a prophet. (more…)

Another theme I’ve been running with recently, here and elsewhere, is finding our ministry and seeing our faith in the everyday here and now of our daily lives.  The “Almanac for the Soul” also had a quotation that made me think more on this (“Yes, World” by Mary Jean Irion):

Sometimes I wondered if
I had any faith. (more…)

One of my “things” for years at St. George’s has been being able to talk about the faith that is in us.  It hasn’t really taken.  Some people do get it, but most members of the congregation look at me blankly when I talk about sharing the faith that is in them — though they can do it if I ask the question another way.  So here, in advance, are my thoughts for next month’s newsletter:

One of the things I keep talking about is sharing the faith that’s in us. I get a lot of puzzled looks when I say this. But I suspect it’s really a question of terminology. I think we are all living out our faith in God. That’s just not how we name it. (more…)