Fear or faith

28 April 2019
Second Sunday of Easter
Easter 2C (RCL)

Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 150
Revelation 1:4-8
John 20:19-31

What strikes me this time reading the story of Jesus’ appearance to the disciples in John’s Gospel is that they are inside the room with the doors locked for fear. We have just seen Church bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Day. We live in an age characterized by fear. Everyone is afraid that what they have is slipping (or being taken) away, so we have settled into so many silos. Continue reading “Fear or faith”

In the garden

21 April 2019
Easter Sunday
Easter Principal Service C (RCL)

Isaiah 65:17-25
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
1 Corinthians 15:19-26
John 20:1-18

In the final section of the book of Isaiah, the prophet imagines life in the restored land. This is the vision of justice that was distorted in Isaiah 5, the song of the vineyard. Those who plant vineyards will eat the fruit. Those who build houses will live in them. Not only does this vision reverse the calamity of exile, it also reverses the rapacity of profit seeking landlords. Indeed, a vision for our time. Continue reading “In the garden”

Talkin’ about the passion

14 April 2019
Palm/Passion Sunday
Year C (RCL)

Luke 19:28-40
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Luke 22:14 – 23:56

None of the Gospel writers, it seems to me, are very interested in developing a doctrine of atonement, in which Jesus’ death in some way deals with the problem of human sin. Paul is certainly interested in developing a theology of how Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection establishes a new righteousness, but the Gospel writers wrap any such attempt in a narrative. Continue reading “Talkin’ about the passion”

A new thing

7 April 2019
Fifth Sunday in Lent
Lent 5C (RCL)

Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm 126
Philippians 3:4b-14
John 12:1-8

In one way or another, all of these readings have to do with something new emerging. The Isaiah passage ironically recalls God opening a way through the Red Sea, and then calls on the people not to remember this anymore, because something new is about to happen. This time God will open a way through the desert, and water the dry places. Psalm 126 also seems to refer to the return from Exile. Continue reading “A new thing”