Archive for category Easter C
From the book of Acts:
16 One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 17 While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” 18 She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. 19 But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. 20 When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews 21 and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. 34 He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God. [NRSV]
This account of life in the early faith community offers a role model of RADICAL hospitality.
First, Paul and Silas go to a place of prayer. Instead of finding a quiet place of reflection and meditation:
- In this worshipful place there someone not only praying on the frailty of those who are searching and looking for direction and answers as they come to pray,
- the are also confronted with someone oppressed in forced labor being exploited for profit, and
- They are confronted with an opportunity to do something good that will break the law, damage ‘property’ and land them in jail if they do the ‘right’ and Godly thing.
Disciples living is not just a collection of thoughts, sayings and ideas.. it is a way that we live as people of the Holy Spirit.
What or whom are we willing to be taken to court? financial fine or even risk jail time? There is a cost of addressing sin and oppression.
- There has been much debate about immigration issues in our nation. No matter what you might think we should do as a nation. A key part of the problem is the willingness of those to hire people who are not living here legally a wage less than legal workers. We can’t say we don’t want these people in our country and at the same time fund the reasons why they are willing to risk to come here.
- We want to have the best price and not be foolish with the resources we have, but would we want our family members, of younger and older ages, being paid pennies to do a task that makes it affordable for our great discounted deal?
There is real hands on response made by Paul and Silas and the others to transform as life and a community.
Paul is annoyed that the evil spirit is telling the message of the faithful.
There are times that a mother would like for her children to set a good role model and it
Story, belt, hat, and nose wiper.. Preacher came to eat lunch..
How difficult it is when the tattooed, pierced, beatnik-type shows the grace and acceptance that others might judge or run away.
It frustrating when the voice of truth comes from the oppressed. It brings conviction to us all.
The Disciples free her from spiritual and economic oppression, leave her without a livelihood, and effect her ‘owners’ as well.
Disciples are not protected from evil for doing the Good, Godly thing.
WHAT IS THE MOTIVATION?
The Salvation story comes through an earthquake, a stayed suicide and an invitation to the family table.
Granny’s table: There is room for you and you are seated at the head, as it is round.
It doesn’t sound like a mother’s day passage, but
- what mother would not want her oppressed daughter to be free.
- What mother would not welcome a husband filled with faith
- What mother does not want to see who whole family around God’s table
All of them, let’s step it up and make Mom proud.
23 Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. 25 “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way. [NRSV]
This is an intimate and paternal conversation between Jesus and the disciples.
Words of Assurance: Yes I am leaving you, but yes I am coming back for you.
These are words of comfort and mystery. Defining a certainty and reality of the separation as well as the certainty and reality of the ongoing connection and presence.
The lesson is to, above all else listen to the words of Jesus and do what he says.
Salvation is realized and experienced by those who have been listening.
Message of Grace: Yes, the opens arms of God are outstretched for all, but those who recognize and follow will know when to run toward the Savior.
We the clue of the relationship: We will come to them.. vs 23.
In the mean time, in the waiting time, in the between time,
Wait for the Advocate, the Holy Spirit.
We are people of the Spirit. This is our business. This is our heart. This is our activity.
We are spiritual folks in a physical reality.. but look what comes first and list. The Holy Spirit.
We come to communion today to feed, nourish and tend to our Spirit.
Listen, Follow and Wait.
It may not be the flashy and exciting thing to do, but it is our salvation.
1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2 Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. 9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.” [NRSV]
Last week we look at the disappointment in the reality of grief. Recall on the Road to Emmaus, Jesus meets two travelers, Cleopas and likely his wife, they share their disappointments and sadness, yet they offer HOSPITALITY to Jesus they perceive is a stranger until they eat together.
It is good for young folks to eat with each other. They start doing thisat lunch. You know them
- The Bragger: who always seems to show off they have a larger portion or a better tasting treat brought-from-home.
- The Trader: who always wants to trade something on their plate for something they like better on their plate or a promise of a future trade (For the advanced traders)
- The Bully: who continually takes or threatens to take what they want.
- The Picky Poker: They play with their food but don’t eat it, making it untradeable and undesirable for anyone except..
- The Creative Scientist: Who mixes combinations and eats the crazed concoctions for attention or for the next food TV network show.
- The Talkers: Who use the time for nourishment of the body to feed the insatiable desire for the latest scoop even if it means being hunger before class is over.
- Mr or Miss Clean and Neat: They have to have the food on the tray in a certain order, no crumbs or spills allowed. They will clean their plate or make an empty milk carton a tidy home for unwanted food.
I’m sure there are other regulars at the table but kids could begin to learn a great deal about their piers from taking notes on table manors. Look back at the text from John, Cleopas and his wife learn that it is Jesus from watching and listening what happens at the dinner table.
In our text today, it is the breakfast table. I have a Monday morning pastor’s breakfast that is the joy of my week. We study, pray, laugh, cry, share and learn about each other lives, families and ministries. We refer to is endearingly as our church, the place where we become the congregation and do not have the responsibility of leading or directing. It is a treasure. But if you came to visit, and occasional members do drop by, you will find us at our best and at our worst.
Jesus finds Peter and a group of the others who have given up, even after seeing the empty tomb, even after appearing in the locked room,even after reappearing when Thomas was with themeven after the testimony of others who had seen and heard Jesus after the resurrection..
Peter is ready to go back to fishing for fish and not for people.He is ready to lead others to fishing for fish and not fishing for peopleHe is ready to try his own experience and strengths and know-how not leaning JesusHe is ready to exchange the familiar than risk failure and face fears.He is ready for much, just not ready for Jesus.
Are we ready for breakfast? Are we ready to start the day eating and drinking in the spiritual food God supplies, our manna.?Are we ready to begin the day looking for perspective and advice that come from outside our own?Are we ready to stick with the church, even if our vision is not fulfilled.This is where a majority of those who once were in church sit this very morning… Oh that might be asleep, on the lake, at work, sitting on the sofa, our just about anywhere but here.But somewhere they had a Peter experience and lost sight of Jesus standing on the shore.
Here is the good news for us and for them, and its tided to our mission.Jesus feeds his disciples once more and challenges them to feed others, because that is our work
Not just physical food, but more importantly the SPIRITUAL food.We can feed folks in Jackson, New York, Tegucigalpa, and at our kitchen table and not do if for JesusAnd we just have a single meal.If we are feeding folks the love of God, right from the heart, we satisfy the spirit: we quench fears, release grief, we teach people to trust Christ for themselves.
Have we forgotten since just a couple of Sunday’s ago that we are “Resurrection People.”Christ lives for us to live in him.We share communion last week and here we are today.. has that bite been enough, are you back for more? More of what?
Look to the text once more: 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19.. After this he said to him, “Follow me.”
When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” [NRSV]
What have we been told NOT to do?
• Don’t eat with your mouth full of food.
Don’t let your shirttail be un-tucked
• Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, ill words.
• Don’t talk to strangers.
• Don’t talk during church.
• Don’t pray out loud as those who boast of their religion.
• Don’t worry about the poor, they will always be with us.
• Don’t be anxious about tomorrow.
• Don’t hesitate in giving your coat as well as your shirt.
• Don’t neglect the orphan and the widow.
• Don’t worship other God’s
• Don’t work on the Sabbath
• Don’t kill, steal, lie or covet
• Don’t dishonor your parents faithfulness
• Don’t leave home without your AMEX card.
• Our list could go on..
Listen closely to Peter and the disciples, now apostles in verse 28, “the council gave them strict order not to teach in Jesus’ name.”
Take a moment to look at the disciples new job title: Apostle. What is that about? Apostle is when a Disciple is entrusted with the work of leading other disciples. He or She is still a disciple of Jesus, but with the additional responsibility of leading disciples.
With this new job, there is a heightened commitment to the work of discipleship. Hear their response to the charges that they have broken the rules, not kept the expectations of the community leaders, not respected the limitations of those who do not know Jesus’ call, authority and power.
They reply: “We must do what God has called us to do.”
How do you know if you are doing what God wants you to do with your life. This is a fundamental question of a disciple trying to life as a disciple.
How do I know I’m doing what God wants?
First thing: Disciples follow Jesus. Look, listen and study what Jesus did and said and compare that to what Jesus people do and say today.
Second: if someone tell us to do something half way for God, is that how God operates? No, God is all in.
Third: Rarely is discipleship easy, welcomed or invited.
Finally: Knowing that I need to ask for course corrections is a sign that God can continually change us.
Catch two things before we leave this passage:
1. Peter and the others take this opportunity of challenge to teach the message.
They tell the story even when those challenging and threatening have said they don’t want to hear it.
2. Second the Council authorities say:
Your “faithfulness” will get us in trouble, it will be a problem to us, it will make us look bad..
They tell the lack of understanding they have and their unwillingness to seek God’s direction.
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable about sharing your faith, you are probably on the right track
And if someone makes you feel good about keeping quiet or not acting in accordance with your faith, they are most likely not leading on the right track.
It is one of the reason that Jesus established the renewal of faith through Holy Communion, to be a recharging and restoring of our faith and trust of the core story of our faith.
Why do we eat the bread? Jesus’ life and body, broken and scarified
Why do we drink the cup? Jesus becomes the fulfillment of the prophets and law, our Lamb and Savior.
We retell and relive the community and common faith and promise that Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again.
14 The LORD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly; 16 the right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD does valiantly.” 17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. 18 The LORD has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death. 19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save us, we beseech you, O LORD! O LORD, we beseech you, give us success! 26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD. 27 The LORD is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you. 29 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Come to the Table,
Eat and Drink,
Do not become weary, but remain strong and true in telling the story of our faith in Jesus Christ.
2 Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart, in my heart. Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart. In my heart, in my heart, Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart.
3 Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart, in my heart. Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart. In my heart, in my heart, Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart.
4 Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart, in my heart. Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart. In my heart, in my heart, Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart.
Dont be an Idiom.. What do we mean by heart..
- aching heart
- after one`s own heart
- at heart
- bleeding heart
- break (someone`s) heart
- close to (someone’s) heart
- cross one`s heart and hope to die
- die of a broken heart
- do his heart good
- do it in a heartbeat
- eat one`s heart out
- find it in one’s heart to (do something)
- follow one’s heart
- from the heart
- from the bottom of one`s heart
- go (somewhere) in a heartbeat
- have a big heart
- have a change of heart
- have a heart
- have a heart of gold
- Bless their heart
- have a heart of stone
- have a heart-to-heart talk with (someone)
- have a soft spot in one’s heart for (someone or something)
- have one`s heart set on (something)
- heart and soul
- heart bleeds for (someone)
- heart goes out to (someone)
- heart is dead set against (something)
- heart is in one’s mouth
- heart is in the right place
- heart is not in (something)
- heart is set against (something)
- heart is set on (something)
- heart misses/skips a beat
- heart stands still
- heart to heart
- heartbeat away from (something)
- heavy heart
- in one’s heart of hearts, more correctly, core of ones heart, said Hamlet
- lose heart
- near to your heart
- not have the heart to do (something)
- open one`s heart to (someone)
- pour one’s heart out (to someone)
- search one`s heart/soul
- sick at heart
- sin sick heart
- strike at the heart of (something)
- take heart
- take to heart
- he ate at the buffet until his heart’s content
- tug at your heartstrings
- Warm some one’s heart
- warm the cockles of (someone’s) heart
- way to (someone’s) heart
- wear one`s heart on one`s sleeve
- win (someone’s) heart
- with all one`s heart (and soul)
- young at heart
But today, the idiom of our text is to be known by heart, known within our heart.
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people [Jeremiah 31:33, NRSV]
As Paul writes to encourage and instruct the church at Corinth, he draws in the Passover Tradition of starting with Unleavened bread. How do we know Christ in our heart?
We have to empty the refrigerator sometime… to start fresh.
So our relationship, needs a good old fashion dose of the resurrection of Jesus to wake up what is dead and leading us to death.
Easter is not a day of rest, it is a day to open our hearts to the very Heart of God.
God wants the CORE of who we are, not just a holiday, not just a Sunday. God wants US everyday.
This is the power of Easter for us right now.
God has given all, I mean ALL, for your heart.
God wants you to not just know ABOUT him nor only ABOUT the story.
GOD is dying for you.
GOD is living for your life.
This is what EASTER means to us today… Most likely you have all hear the Good News of the Easter message..
SO WHAT? I have ben wrestling with the book NOT A FAN, about being a follower compared to being a fan.
ASK yourself this morning: What does it mean that God wants to be at CENTRAL OFFICE, the CORE, at the CPU, at the beginning and end of you.?
Am I willing to give the Live God, the power of the God’s Spirit? The grace and love of Jesus the steering wheel wherever we go,
If so, than I need to forgive some folks, serve some folks, trust some folks, meet some folks, let go of some folks,
In my Heart, In my Heart, Lord I want to be your son, daughter, man/woman, youth, child, YOURs.
This is the Easter Invite..
From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go–the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis.
They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” (-NRSV)
Why in the world would Jesus tell crowds and those restored not to tell what Jesus had done?
People would only follow and believe if they received a physical blessing 1st hand.
(1) I will follow if you bless me.
(2) I will tell if you get us out of this jam. (3) I will be your disciple when I get something out of you first.
Discipleship comes before the blessing
Our culture is troubled with this, we want to a guarantee, we want our money’s worth. It is a contractual relationship. I give—I get. I beg—I receive,
Notice how Jesus takes the many with a speech impediment and moves in the house, into a private place, away from the crowds and drama.
• Jesus follows a medicinal method: touching his ears, spitting and touching his tongue,
• Jesus follows a spiritual method: looking up to heaven, he speaks release to the captive: Be open.
Be open to the spirit of God.
open to wholeness and faith.
open to the process, steps and stages. open to the power to change us. Be open.
The gift of knowledge we wish for all our students, be open. Be available, take what you have learned in private and go into the world that wants a show and its desserts. Be open to God’s touch, God’s word and God’s sending.