Tuesday, April 25, 2017

SermonWork ~ Easter 3 ~ The road to Emmaus



I have always found the post-resurrection stories in the Gospels fascinating.  At the same time unbelievable and totally believable, both other-worldly, and also so grounded in our own world and our own experience.  The story of the "Road to Emmaus", as Luke 24:13-35 has become known, is full of truth in my own understanding of the way that Jesus comes to us in our own lives.  Beginning with two disciples walking along, not staying in one place, not hiding in fear as the disciples were earlier, going along, outside in the fresh air and they were talking and discussing.  The Hebrew for this "talking and discussing" can be translated as "throwing words around"...they were interpreting the last days of Jesus, and the first days of the risen Christ.

They were trying to understand what they had experienced in these past days.  And then, in the midst of this wonderful place, in the midst of this conversation (argument?), in the midst of this dynamic moment, Jesus shows up - Jesus shows up as an unknown visitor.  Jesus shows up as a fellow traveler on the way.  Jesus shows up as as stranger.  And Jesus asks them to tell the story, Jesus asks them to share what they have seen and heard.  And they tell him the story, they witness, they give testimony to what they had seen and heard.

Mostly, Jesus listens, and the disciples talk.  When they finish, Jesus then interprets the story that they have told, and wraps is up in a deep discussion and interpretation of "all the scriptures."  Here, Jesus exegetes himself! Pretty amazing.  And then, after this teaching, after this interpretation, they welcome him to have dinner, and just as we do in worship, after the scriptures, and the prayers, and the exegesis (sermon), they broke bread "and then their eyes were opened."  And then, just as they began to understand and see, Jesus vanishes.

Jesus is always there, but our vision is not always clear.  And, at times, we feel his deep deep presence, his tangible reality, but then, seemingly, we can't grasp it as we could a photo, or a recording, or a podcast, or a snapshot.  My own understanding of God's grace in my life is that it has clearly always been there, but there have been some tangible and earthy moments when I could very nearly see Jesus with me, but Jesus is not to be caged or grabbed, but is always with us.  Just as God's prevenient grace  - his Amazing Grace - is always with us, Jesus is with us, guiding us, interpreting our lives for us, and teaching us the ways that our own stories are bound up in the grand story of God.

On our own journey of life, when we find the time to "throw words around" and tell the story of Jesus, and this grand story of God, and break bread and share wine, Jesus becomes tangible to us, and our eyes are opened to the ever-present reality of God in our lives, every moment and every second of our lives.

~Peter+


Luke 24:13-35
Now on that same day two of Jesus' disciples were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place.

Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.

They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.







Sunday, April 23, 2017

Peace be with you


John 20:19-31

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

A new birth into a living hope!



1 Peter 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith-- being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire-- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

New Episcopal chaplain appointed at Harvard

From Jim Simons' Blog,  "3RiversEpiscopal" (which you all need to check out!)




FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2017

New Episcopal chaplain appointed at Harvard

From Massachusetts-

The Board of Trustees of the Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard has announced the appointment of the Rev. Margery Kennelly, currently the assistant rector at the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, as Harvard's next Episcopal chaplain. She will begin her ministry at Harvard on June 1, and will serve a two-year appointment.

The Board of Trustees of the Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard has announced the appointment of the Rev. Margery Kennelly, currently the assistant rector at the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, as Harvard's next Episcopal chaplain. She will begin her ministry at Harvard on June 1, and will serve a two-year appointment.

Kennelly succeeds the Rev. Luther Zeigler, who has been the Episcopal chaplain at Harvard for six years. During that time, Zeigler led the Harvard Chaplains as its president for two years and was the founding chair of the university's new Board of Religious, Spiritual and Ethical Life.


More here-

http://www.diomass.org/diocesan-news/new-episcopal-chaplain-appointed-harvard

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Bishop Daniel Gutierrez on Eastertide

From Bishop Daniel Gutierrez of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and his "A Shepherd in the field"blog:


Eastertide



As a community, we rejoice in our Lord’s resurrection.  

We have walked through a sacred time as hopeful people called Christians.   The penitential season of Lent has passed, the profound sacredness of Holy Week is a memory, and we loudly sing the Alleluias of Easter.  What next? 

It is Eastertide; embrace and live the call of following Jesus. 

After the resurrection, Jesus Christ was out on the road.  He was touching, transforming, envisioning, and breaking open new possibilities.  It is Good News for the world.  It is our chance to show His face.  Reveal the face of Christ to those who are seeking, who need reminding or to those do not know Jesus.  What a remarkable opportunity this Eastertide. 

Let us go out and proclaim a way that is unlike the shallow offerings of the world. 

In small groups, in our daily actions, we will step forward and be intentional.   Let us make Christ visible through our lives.   Through prayer, involvement at your church, community service, inviting people to church (or a meal), kindness, generosity, and love, let us bring the message of the resurrection into the world.  Embrace the same hope as the early Christians. 

During this Eastertide, let us make Jesus the Christ visible.  It has been proven time and time again; Jesus lives, moves and breathes.  He changes lives, and He transforms the world. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday in Easter Week



Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that we who celebrate with awe the Paschal feast may be found worthy to attain to everlasting joys; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Romans 6:3-11

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter!



O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth: Put away from us, we entreat you, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Seek the things that are above





Colossians 3:1-4

If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Vigil


Matthew 28:1-10

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.' This is my message for you." So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

Holy Saturday


Holy Saturday

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday




Good Friday

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jesu, Jesu




Jesu, Jesu

Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love,
show us how to serve the neighbors
we have from you.

Kneels at the feet of his friends,
silently washes their feet,
Master who acts as a slave to them.

Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love,
show us how to serve the neighbors
we have from you.

Neighbors are rich folk and poor,
neighbors are black, brown, and white,
neighbors are nearby and far away.

Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love,
show us how to serve the neighbors
we have from you.

These are the ones we should serve,
these are the ones we should love;
all these are neighbors to us and you.

Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love,
show us how to serve the neighbors
we have from you.

Loving puts us on our knees,
serving as though we are slaves:
this is the way we should live with you.

Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love,
show us how to serve the neighbors
we have from you.


Maundy Thursday




Maundy Thursday

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Dali's Last Supper ~ Blogging Holy Week


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Give us grace

Wednesday in Holy Week

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Grant to us glory in the cross of Christ



Tuesday in Holy Week

O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The way of life and peace




Monday in Holy Week

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Palm Sunday






Matthew 21:1-11

When Jesus and his disciples had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage,
at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village
ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie
them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, `The Lord
needs them.' And he will send them immediately." This took place to fulfill what had
been spoken through the prophet, saying,

"Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey
and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd
spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them
on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

"Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!
"
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?"
The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee."

Palm Sunday


Saturday, April 08, 2017

On Palm Sunday, Jesus rides into the Perfect Storm by N.T. Wright

On Palm Sunday, Jesus rides into the Perfect Storm
by N.T. Wright in ABC Religion and Ethics



The crowd went wild as they got nearer. This was the moment they'd been waiting for. All the old songs came flooding back, and they were singing, chanting, cheering and laughing. At last, their dreams were going to come true. But in the middle of it all, their leader wasn't singing. He was in tears. Yes, their dreams were indeed coming true. But not in the way they had imagined.
He was not the king they expected. Not like the monarchs of old, who sat on their jewelled and ivory thrones, dispensing their justice and wisdom. Nor was he the great warrior-king some had wanted. He didn't raise an army and ride to battle at its head. He was riding on a donkey. And he was weeping - weeping for the dream that had to die, weeping for the sword that would pierce his supporters to the soul. Weeping for the kingdom that wasn't coming as well as the kingdom that was. What was it all about? What did Jesus think he was doing?
On Palm Sunday, Jesus was riding into the perfect storm. Recall the story of the famous "perfect storm." It was late October 1991. A New England fishing boat by the name ofAndrea Gail had sailed five hundred miles out into the Atlantic. But the weather was changing rapidly. A cold front moving along the American-Canadian border sent a strong disturbance through New England, while at the same time a large high-pressure system was building over the Maritime provinces of south-eastern Canada. This intensified the incoming low-pressure system, producing what locals called "The Halloween Nor'easter."
These circumstances alone could have created a strong storm, but then, like throwing petrol on a fire, a hurricane coming in from the Atlantic brought incalculable tropical energy to the mix. The forces of nature converged on the helpless Andrea Gail from the west, the north and the south-east. Ferocious winds and huge waves reduced the boat to matchwood. Only light debris was ever found.
The first two elements of Jesus's perfect storm are comparatively easy to describe; the third less so, but all-important if we are to understand both the original meaning of Palm Sunday and the meanings that it might have for us as we draw nearer to the cross in this holiest of weeks.
read it all HERE

Monday, April 03, 2017

Church rebirth through reading the scriptures

A clergy colleague of mine, the Reverend Scott Gunn blogs passionately about how a church he served found new life by reading the Bible!  Great read!


From "Seven Whole Days" Blog

bible
Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)


God takes scripture seriously. After giving the heart of the Law (“Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”), God tells the people of Israel to keep the words in their hearts. But that’s not all. God wants the people of Israel not just to know the scriptures, but to teach them to their children. If we understand ourselves as the heirs of Israel, then we too should place ourselves in this story. We are meant to know the scriptures and to talk about them at home and to teach them to our children. We might not literally fix the scriptures on our foreheads, and most of us don’t have gates. But there is no mistaking the intent of the command: we are meant to display and honor the scriptures publicly.

Read Scott's whole post HERE

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Grant your people Grace



Collect for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.