Watching for the morning of May 5, 2013

Year C

The 6th Sunday of Easter

As we come to the sixth Sunday in Easter we feel the pull of Pentecost, the climax of Easter.  We have before us not only the wonderful promise of peace in the Gospel for Sunday, but also the promise of the Holy Spirit: the paraclete, the advocate, the defender.  The vision of the new Jerusalem, the healing and redemption of the world brought under the reign of God’s Spirit, continues in our reading from Revelation.  And the pull and push of God through the Spirit to bring the message of Christ beyond the borders of Israel continues with Paul’s vision of the man from Macedonia saying “Come over and help us.”  The psalm embraces all these texts, rejoicing in the harvest, the bounty of God’s creation, and calling all nations to give praise to God.

The Prayer of the Day

God of might and tenderness,
who makes the mountain shake
but breaks not the bruised reed
and sustains the flickering flame.
Help us to dwell in your peace,
and ever to take refuge in the Holy Spirit
whom you have sent as our advocate and defender,
our teacher and guide.
(DKB 3/27/2013).

The Texts for Sunday, May 5

First Reading: Acts 16:9-15 (Paul’s vision of the man from Macedonia)
Psalmody: Psalm 67 (The earth has yielded its increase)
Second Reading: Revelation 21:10, 21:22-22:5 (The New Jerusalem and the Tree of Life)
Gospel: John 14:23-29 (The promise of the Holy Spirit and the gift of peace)

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Sunday Evening of April 28

The water has been carried away, the table cleared, the baptismal font moved back from the center of the worshiping community to the entrance aisle – but the joy of the celebration lingers:  the darling baby, the big crowd, the tender affection of all towards this child and her family.

And the words of Jesus linger: “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another.”  “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I don’ t know what will become of the washcloths handed out to the children in the children’s sermon.  I do know I won’t forget the wonderfully expressive look of shock from one child at the idea of washing feet.

It was shocking what Jesus did.  (That’s why Peter tried to stop him.)  But it spoke to his point.   God’s world, God’s kingdom, God’s reigning is different than this world.  And now Sara has become a citizen of God’s world living in the midst of this one.  People will know that she is a student of Jesus if she lives his love.

Watching for April 28, 2013

Year C

The 5th Sunday of Easter

The Prayer of the Day

Gracious God,
whom all creation praises,
and whose will it is to gather all things into your wide embrace,
pour out upon us your Spirit of love,
that we may follow where you lead
and obey what you command.
(DKB, May 1, 2007)

The Texts for April 28, 2013 

First Reading:  Acts 11:1-18 (Peter tells how God gave the Holy Spirit to Cornelius)
Psalm: Psalm 148 (Praise the Lord … he has raised up a horn for his people.)
Second Reading: Revelation 21:1-6 (A new heaven and a new earth)
Gospel: John 13:31-35 (Jesus gives his followers a new commandment)