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Showing posts from April, 2018

Psalm 23- freedom from anxiety

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Psalm 23; John 10:11-18 
Psalm 23
A Psalm of David.
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.[a]
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness[b]
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,[c]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely[d] goodness and mercy[e] shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell[f] in the house of the Lord
forever.[g]
Footnotes:
Psalm 23:2 Hebrew beside waters of rest
Psalm 23:3 Or in right paths
Psalm 23:4 Or the valley of deep darkness
Psalm 23:6 Or Only
Psalm 23:6 Or steadfast love
Psalm 23:6 Or shall return to dwell
Psalm 23:6 Hebrew for length of days


We live in a world that seems to be full of reasons to be afraid. You watch the news a…

The Resurrected Body of Christ

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1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36-48

At Easter we spoke about the resurrection. We spoke about the fact that the body of Jesus had gone missing from the tomb. We also spoke about the fact that multiple people reported having an experience with the resurrected Jesus. … People in the ancient world were accustomed to stories about dreams or visions where a loved one who died spoke to someone. They were also aware of stories about ghosts. You might remember that when Jesus was walking on the water some of the disciples in the boat were afraid because they thought Jesus was a ghost (Matt 14:26). In our Gospel reading we again see that the disciples were trying to fit the resurrected Jesus into a category so they could understand what was happening. We read, “They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost” (Luke 24:37). Then Jesus eats a piece of fish in front of his disciples. This might seem like an odd detail to include, but what he is doing is proving that he is not…

Unity in the Church of the Resurrection Acts 4

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Acts 4:32-35
4:32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.
4:33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
4:34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.
4:35 They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.



In todays reading from the Acts of the Apostles we see a vision of a pretty idealized church. There was complete unity. They didn’t consider anything as privately owned, but considered the things they had as belonging to the group. The apostles continued to teach about the resurrection and the needs of all were taken care of.

We should see this as an ideal, and it is an important ideal that isn’t to be over-looked or dismissed too …

An April Fool's Easter

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Acts 10:34-43; 1 Cor 15:1-11; John 20:1-18
This morning we gather to celebrate that Jesus Christ has pushed through death and has come out the other side into a new kind of life. After being killed on the cross, Jesus is alive. … It is also April Fool’s day. No doubt there are many around us who think celebrating a man coming back to life is the height of foolishness. What modern person can believe such a thing? It is the content of myths and legends, not modern rational thinking. … Thinking Christians are fools for believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus is nothing new. St. Paul points this out in 1 Corinthians 1:18, 23 he says, 
“For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”, and  “we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles”.
There was some ancient graffiti discovered near the Colosseum in Rome that dates from between the 1st to 3rd century. There is a…

Judas

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John 13:21-32 
The disciples have been together with Jesus for three years, but things have started to change. The air is electric. There is a sense of anticipation. Jesus has begun to focus more on the disciples than on the crowds. He is spending more time with those who are closest to him.

Just before our reading, Jesus takes off his outer clothing and wraps a towel around his waist. He gets a basin of water and begins washing his disciples' feet. Jesus gets up and dresses like a servant, then he begins doing the work of a servant. … Footwashing was among the lowest of jobs. It wasn't just any servant who did the footwashing. It was the lowest ranking servant who did the footwashing. … The fact that Jesus gets up to do this task is shocking. Here is the Lord of the universe washing the feet of fishermen and tax collectors. The way the world understands power and authority has just been turned on its head.

The part of this foo…