Archive for the ‘Last Sunday’s Worship’ Category
Seventh Sunday of Easter; May 4, 2008
Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10,32-35; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 1 Peter 5:6-11; John 17:1-11
Holy Is the Lord
There is a Louder Shout to Come
He Who Began a Good Work in You
In His Time
6When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”
7-8He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”
9-11These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared-in white robes! They said, “You Galileans!-why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly-and mysteriously-as he left.”
Returning to Jerusalem
12-13So they left the mountain called Olives and returned to Jerusalem. It was a little over half a mile. They went to the upper room they had been using as a meeting place:
Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas, son of James. 14They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. Also Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his brothers.
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
This is funnier than it seems.
Jesus has been with them for 3 1/2 years. He’s taught them every day. He’s lived the perfect example of what God is like, and right in front of them. What lessons they’ve had! What amazing moments they’ve seen! Read the rest of this entry »
April 13, 2008—Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10
Let’s say you breed beautiful, valuable hunting dogs. You have new puppies. You keep them in your fenced yard.
One afternoon, you come home early, walk into the house, look out the kitchen window. You’re watch the puppies play – when a stranger pops his head up beyond the fence, looks around, throws one leg over, and rolls over into the yard. Read the rest of this entry »
This sermon leans hard on Provoking the Gospel of Matthew: A Storyteller’s Commentary by Richard W. Swanson and A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew by Craig S. Keener, both of which I gladly recommend. I don’t think I have any direct quotes from them—but I’ll bet I come pretty close! Swanson’s approach, especially, left me with a desire to “set” the story this year, and let it make its own points, rather than turn it into a “sermon,” in the modern sense. My hope is that doing so anchors the Easter story a little more clearly in the discomfort and confusion of its day. Thanks for reading! – Monte
Liturgy of the Palms; Sixth Sunday in Lent; March 16, 2008
Matthew 21:1-11; Psalm 118:1-2,19-29
[See also the 2006 Palm Sunday sermon Whose Kingdom, Christian?]
It’s hard to feel the background of Palm Sunday. To us, it’s fun. Light.
2,000 years ago, Palm Sunday was ominous. Life under Roman rule could be terrifying; a competing king was reason enough for slaughter. News of Jesus’ arrival brought both hope and dread.
The best cultural analogy I can think of is modern Gaza. Here’s a recent description:
Israel has militarily occupied Gaza for forty years. It pulled out its colonials in 2005 but maintained an iron grip on the area, controlling all access, including its airspace and territorial waters. Its F-16s and helicopter gunships regularly shred more and more of the areas—public works, its neighborhoods—and inflict collective punishment on civilians in violation of Article 55 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. As the International Red Cross declares, citing treaties establishing international humanitarian law, “Neither the civilian population as a whole nor individual civilians may be attacked.”
You understand collective punishment. It’s as if your neighbor were accused of murder. Rather than being arrested, an F-16 thunders past, blasting his house into flying splinters with a missle. Your neighbor is instantly killed, along with his wife and children. Your house falls as well; some of your children are screaming in agony; some will never cry again. You’ll never know if your neighbor had actually hurt anyone.
According to The Nation magazine, the great Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, reports that the primitive rockets from Gaza, have taken thirteen Israeli lives in the past four years, while Israeli forces have killed more than one thousand Palestinians in the occupied territories in the past two years alone. Almost half of them were civilians, including some 200 children. [“Israel,” Mr. Bush says, “has a right to defend herself.” – M.] Read the rest of this entry »
John 9:1-41; Ephesians 5:8-14; 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23
Jesus and his disciples are in Jerusalem. Watch what happens . . .
Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”
So they see a guy who’s blind. Their thoughts go one place: somebody’s been bad.
For 2,000 years what’s about to happen will be talked about. But the possibility of this poor guy getting well doesn’t even seem to have occurred to them. Read the rest of this entry »
Sleet and ice all day Saturday caused cancellation of Sunday, so I don’t have a sermon here for you this week. Today is Monday; still can’t reliably stand on the street in front of my house!
I do recommend Lawrence Moore’s excellent post on last Sunday’s readings, tho’, at Disclosing New Worlds.
Tags: weather, Advent 1A, Monte Asbury