It’s Good Shepherd Sunday. Every year, the fourth Sunday of Eastertide gives us a reading from the 10th chapter of John’s gospel, and we hear the 23rd Psalm. But this year, we are in the middle of “Getting Our Acts Together” so our focus today is on the reading from Acts. I think you will find Jesus showing up here, too, not only as the Good Shepherd, but also as the Passover Lamb. Continue reading
April 15, 2018
On Friday, this deck was clear. Then the hail came, followed by a couple inches of rain and sleet. When the snow started early Saturday morning, there was no way to know how much we would get, or how long it would last. By early afternoon, however, it was clear we needed to cancel worship. Highways and county roads had been closed, and the blizzard warnings had been extended into Sunday afternoon. By Sunday morning, we had more than a foot of snow, and it was still coming down.
So we tried something new. We broadcast the worship service from my living room on the church’s Facebook page. With only a couple of small changes from what would have been the order of worship at First United Methodist Church, my husband played the piano for all the hymns. We even had an Offering! – inviting people to contribute via the church PayPal account.
Using my laptop to run the presentation slides for the service, and my phone to record the video, I preached from my tablet – a technological trifecta. Here is the order of worship, with the link to the Facebook Live video and a link back to the sermon text. Here’s the best part: about six times as many people have watched the video in the first few hours of its existence than would have participated in corporate worship on a normal Sunday at First Church. Here’s the Order of Worship we used: Continue reading
We are in the second week of “Getting Our ACTS Together” during Eastertide. For the first three Sundays after Easter, our readings in Acts depend on the story of the crippled man healed at the Beautiful Gate. Each reading refers back to this miraculous healing story, but never includes it. It’s a story full of amazement, astonishment, and wonder. And yet, amazing as it is, the healing isn’t what’s important here. Continue reading
April 11, 2021
The New Testament is mostly letters – letters from Paul to various churches, letters from Peter, and from James Jude, and John. It’s mostly letters, but not entirely letters. There’s the Revelation of John at the end of the New Testament, and the four gospels at the beginning. And sandwiched in between the gospels and the letters there’s a book called The Acts of the Apostles, or simply, “Acts.”
Some Bible scholars like to call it “Second Luke” because it continues the story of Luke’s gospel beyond the resurrection of Jesus. So it’s appropriate that the assigned readings for the season of Eastertide include passages from Acts, or “Second Luke.” Because, as we learned last week, the story isn’t over when Jesus rises from death to life. It’s just beginning. Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a closer look at this story, to see how it might inform our story. Continue reading