April 2022

Thursday at Volmoed – Sermon for the Third Sunday of Easter

Scripture Readings

I am intrigued by the resonances I find between two of the readings our Sunday lectionary invites us to consider this morning. Both the passage from Acts and that from the Gospel of John tell us stories of significant encounters with Jesus by men who would later have an important role in establishing the early Church.

In Acts, Saul who would become the apostle Paul is initially set on persecuting followers of Jesus, and goes to considerable lengths in his determination to do so. In John’s Gospel, the apostle Peter is floundering about, seemingly at a loss as to what to do after his denial of Jesus before the crucifixion. Both Saul and Peter are with others when Jesus meets them, but Jesus seems to be confronting each of them individually, as if those with them fade into the background for the moment.

Both encounters have extraordinary aspects, a light from heaven in one, a strange catch of fish in the other. I’m not sure what to make of these aspects, but I suspect they might somehow find echoes in our own lives of extraordinary experiences we perhaps have had of God, experiences that are difficult for us to put into words without seeming to diminish their significance for ourselves, a significance that is no less real for being usually less dramatic.

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Second Sunday after Easter

Readings for today

I’m not sure Thomas gets a particularly fair deal in history. For two millennia he has been, more or less, the poster child for doubt: Doubting Thomas – an archetype that has entered the mainstream psyche. All generations will call Mary blessed… and apparently all generations will call Thomas doubting… I’m thinking Thomas needs a better public relations plan…

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Sermon for the 5th Sunday in Lent

Readings for the day

At first reading this passage from John’s Gospel seems innocuous enough… Mary, Martha, and Lazarus all having a nice meal with Jesus in the week leading up to Passover. It has a sort of warm holiday feel to it, like when families get together before Christmas… But it is not a happy holiday tableau. Jesus is now under a death sentence and that sentence is about to be implemented.  

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