Showing posts from April, 2010

The Fifth Sunday of Easter, 2 May 2010

The Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter Acts 9:36-43 Psalm 23 Revelation 7:9-17 Saint John 10:22-30 The Ghent Altarpiece – The Adoration of the Lamb, Hubert and Jan Van Eyck BACKGROUND The Sundays of Easter are suspended between two great liturgical feasts: The Resurrection of our Lord, Easter Day, and the Day of Pentecost.   One serves as a culmination of the Passion Cycle, and the other serves as a beginning to a season of the Holy Spirit.   The readings during Eastertide prepare us for this transition, with Jesus looking ahead to the gift he will give to sustain the community after his departure.   All of the readings this morning prepare us for the gift of the Spirit and the new horizons to which she will lead us.   See if you can see what the signs of the coming Spirit are. Acts 11:1-18 Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized

The Fourth Sunday of Easter, 25 April 2010

The Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter Acts 9:36-43 Psalm 23 Revelation 7:9-17 Saint John 10:22-30 BACKGROUND This Sunday is called “Good Shepherd Sunday” which will become obvious as we read through the texts.  The themes of sheep and of shepherds pepper both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, and often refer to kingship in ancient Israel (David was portrayed as a shepherd) and in relationship to Jesus as well (the son of David).  Acts 9:36-43 Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, "Please come to us without delay." So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping an

The Third Sunday of Easter, 18 April 2010

The Readings for the Third Sunday of Easter Acts 9:1-6 Psalm 30 Revelation 5:11-14 Saint John 21:1-19 BACKGROUND We are slowly moving from the focus on Peter (Gospel) to a new focus on Saul/Paul (First Reading).   It is Luke’s intention to keep these two individuals clearly in mind, as we begin to associate them with the work and signs of Jesus.   Both of these men will have visions that will directly affect their approach to not only the Easter Faith, but to the manner in which they characterize that faith to others.   This morning we will hear about the first of these visions to Paul, and then on the Fifth Sunday of Easter we will hear about Peter’s vision.   These visions will carry the church from a Judeo-centric perspective and mission to a more inclusive mission that involves the ministry to gentiles.   There is another vision in today’s readings, and that is the vision of St. John the Divine, as he hears the song of the angels and elders in heaven. Acts