Day of Pentecost

Ezekiel 37:1-14 The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, ‘Mortal, can…

Easter 7

Easter is a wild ride in the book of Acts. We go from Acts 10 on Easter to Acts 4 then back up to chapter three then back to 4, to 10, to 8 and this week we go back to chapter 1. Whew! The book of Acts is the second part of Luke’s “orderly…

Easter 6

John 15:9-17 9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and…

Easter 5

What does the word ABIDE actually mean? Does anyone beside Christians ever use this word? We used the word abide yesterday in church when we sang the hymn Abide With Me. Clearly that hymn was written by an enthusiast of John’s Gospel. The Johannine community material (Gospel of John and 1,2,3 letters of John) makes…

Easter 4

Shepherds, shepherding and sheep are among the most prevalent sources for imagery in the Bible. Of course this was because the Israelites were pastoralists, herders and the keepers of sheep. All the way back to Cain and Abel we see an inherent preference for the keeper of flocks. Now herders and farmers often don’t get…

Easter 3

This is an unusual week in that the first lesson and the gospel reading are written by the same author. You may or may not be aware that the book of the Acts of the Apostles is St Luke’s second of a two volume work. Therefore, there is a unified theological project at work in…

Easter 2

The lessons this week give us a range of reaction among Jesus’ “post-Easter” community of disciples. The first glimpse is a group of disciples gathered together in utter fear. They have good reason to be afraid. The “Doubting Thomas” text (John 20:19-29) take place in the evening of the first Easter day. So Jesus was…

Easter Sunday

In 25 years of Easter preaching I am sure I have never spent any considerable time or attention on the first lesson which is always this reading from the book of Acts. Maybe this year is the year to ask myself, why is this passage the only passage of Scripture (okay, Psalm 118 is also…

Palm/Passion Sunday

If you are reading the Surviving the Bible Devotional you will notice that the texts for Palm/Passion Sunday are not treated in favor of texts related to the Annunciation of Our Lord. You can’t see my quizzical smirk but trust me, it’s there! So is this Sunday Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday? Of course, it’s…

Lent 5

The Greeks, the Seed and the Glory 20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ 22Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, ‘The…