Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sermon: C Pentecost 19 May 2013

Acts 2:1-21; Ps 104; Ro 8:14-17; JOHN 14:8-17, 25-27

My peace I give to you…Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. AMEN.

Seders commemorate the Passover of Jews across the Red Sea in safety away from enslavement to Pharaoh in Egypt. 49 days later, according to most Jewish traditions, Shavuot, one of the three pilgrimage holidays is celebrated. It commemorates the gift of Torah to the entire nation of Israel gathered at Mt. Sinai. The counting of the 7 days in 7 weeks, called Counting of the Omer, is seen to express anticipation and desire for the giving of Torah. An omer-measure of barley was also observed as a sacrifice, offered in the Temple at Jerusalem, until an offering of wheat was brought to the Temple at Shavuot. Shavuot actually means weeks, so it marks the end of the counting of the Omer. People believed also that the idea of counting each day represented spiritual preparation and anticipation for the gift of Torah, around the same era, as was the Shavuot observance as a rain offering of sacrifice. One Jewish belief is that they were only freed from Egypt to receive Torah at Sinai, at Shavuot, and then to fulfill its laws. This back and forth weaving of meanings shows the antiquity of the traditions and their layers of understanding.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sermon: C Easter 7 12 May 2013

Acts 16:16-34; Ps 97;Rev 22:12-14,16-, 20-21; JOHN 17: 20-26

Do not leave us comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us. Amen. 

This Sunday, Easter 7, three days after Ascension Day, a week before Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, is the scariest Sunday of the Christian year, at least for me. The whole ten days from the Ascension to Pentecost are both challenging and lonely, and test us and our faith. These days remind us about heading into the unknown and what it takes from us to trust in promises that sound fine, but actually who knows, who can know? Such promises risk sounding too good to be true, and that makes us wary, but Jesus says, “I will not leave you comfortless,” and promises to send the Holy Spirit. Whatever can the disciples have made of that promise? What’s the Holy Spirit; what’s a Paraclete, and what would an Advocate look like or be?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sermon: C 6 Easter 5 May 2013

Acts 16:9-15; Ps 67; Rev 21:10, 22—22.5; JOHN 14: 23-29

Let the peoples praise you, O God, alleluia; let all the peoples praise you, alleluia. AMEN.”

“Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give it as the world gives. 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. Do not let your hearts be troubled. — And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. Don’t let your hearts be troubled, and don’t let them be afraid.”

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ascension Day Service

There will be an Ascension Day service on Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at The Church of St. John the Evangelist.

For further information, please call 617-227-5242.

Please join us!