Showing posts from April, 2019

The Third Sunday of Easter, 5 May 2019

The Third Sunday of Easter, 5 May 2019 Acts 9:1-6 [7-20] Psalm 30 Revelation 5:11-14 St. John 21:1-19 Background: Conversion In the lectionary for this day we have conversion stories, the “conversion” of the disciples named in the Gospel who choose to follow Jesus, and the account of Paul’s Christophany on the way to Damascus. It might be good to look at the notion of conversion apart from the religious principles that might seem to accompany it. Of special help here is the thought of Lewis Rambo, Professor of Psychology and Religion at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. Readers interested in a more complete sampling of his thoughts on conversion should read his book,  Understanding Religious Conversion . Here are his seven steps of religious conversion. 1.      Context – The content of what an individual brings with them to the point of conversion. It includes how they were raised by their parents, their education, work, and social and cultural cont

The Second Sunday of Easter, 28 April 2019

The Second Sunday of Easter, 28 April 2019 Acts 5:27-32 Psalm 118:14-29 Revelation 1:4-8 St. John 20:19-31 Background: Doubt This Sunday and its Gospel are inextricably tied to the notion of doubt, especially in the character of St. Thomas, the Apostle. It might behoove us, then, to look at the notion of doubt as it appears not only in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, but also in classical life that preceded the Christian Era. First, let me recommend an interesting study on doubt by Jennifer Michael Hecht,  Doubt, a History . [1] The subtitle gives us a bit of the broad spectrum that doubt entails, “The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson.” [2] She goes further to explain,    “Like belief, doubt takes a lot of different forms, from ancient Skepticism to modern scientific empiricism, from doubt in many gods to doubt in one God, to doubt that recreates and enlivens faith and doubt tha