May 15, 2022
Today’s gospel takes us back to holy week and events that led up to the crucifixion. It might seem strange to hear this reading in the middle of Eastertide, but I cant help but wonder if the disciples were doing the same thing in those weeks just after the resurrection, too – remembering the stories, what Jesus said, how the events played out just as he had predicted. They were cementing in their collective memory the gospel that would be preached throughout the world.
It’s the same gospel we proclaim now: Christ died, was buried, rose again, and ascended to his Father’s side to rule the kingdom of God. That kingdom is already present among us, and we who claim Christ as Lord and Savior are part of it. Rehearsing these stories again and again keeps us in the faith, and keeps the faith alive in us. Repeating these stories for each other keeps them from becoming diluted or distorted over time.
Today’s passage takes us back to that final meal Jesus shared with his disciples. In John’s version, this meal happens on the night before Passover begins. According to John, “Jesus will be crucified at about the same time that the lambs are sacrificed in the Temple in preparation for the Passover meal.” But John gives us something the other gospel authors do not: he tells us in great detail what Jesus said to his disciples during this final night they have together. Continue reading →
February 20, 2022
We are back with Jesus on the level place, right where we left off last week. He started out by describing the blessings we experience when our hearts are tuned to God and our attention is focused on God’s kingdom. But they didn’t sound like blessings to those people who gathered around Jesus to hear him teach.
It sounded like Jesus was getting it backward – you’re blessed when you’re poor or hungry and you’re doomed if you are rich or well fed. You’re blessed when you sorrow, and you’re doomed when you laugh. It just doesn’t make sense!
But that’s because we hear these blessings and woes through a worldly filter. If we listen carefully, we can hear a different message. It isn’t about food or money or social approval at all. It’s about what we give our attention to, what we place at the center of our lives. Continue reading →
( Read John 14:15-21 here.)
Our reading today picks up right where we left off last week, in the 14th chapter of the gospel according to John. Jesus is talking to his closest friends on the night of his betrayal. They may not know what’s about to happen, but Jesus does. He knows this is his last chance to give his followers some instructions for what is coming. It’s his last chance to teach them what they need to know to carry on the work he has begun. It’s his last chance to tell them how much he loves them.
Continue reading →