Go and Let Go

April 8, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

2nd Sunday of Easter
John 20:19-31

Listen here:

 

Gospel Text:

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

1st Sunday after Epiphany
Genesis 1:1-5; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11

Listen here:

 

Gospel Text:

Mark 1:4-11

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
10th Sunday After Pentecost – Proper 12
Luke 11:1-13

(Gospel Text provided below)

Today I’ll be sharing the pulpit with a couple folks who will be talking about Stewardship of Relationship. One is a member of Daughters of the King and the other is in the Order of St. Luke – both are prayer ministries at Christ Church. I don’t think the date was chosen based on the lectionary, so the fact that we’ve been provided with the quintessential gospel text for prayer gives some extra creds to the Holy Spirit!

And while prayer is certainly a way that we can be stewards of relationships with one another, it’s also a good way to be stewards of our relationship with God.

So with that in mind, what does this passage from Luke’s gospel tell us about prayer?

Prayer, in its simplest definition, is a way of connecting with God. Yet interestingly, the passage points out that it’s not instinctive. Prayer is actually a learned behavior. Even the disciples, these learners that are following Jesus, ask to be taught how to pray.

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Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
Day of Pentecost
Genesis 11:1-9; Acts 2:1-21; John 14:8-17, 25-27

 

I’d like to see a show of hands… how many of you have a birthday that falls during the summer months? I have a summer birthday. It’s in late July.

Summer birthdays are different than school-year birthdays. If you were like me, your birthday parties probably had fewer school friends, who were scattered for the summer. Instead, you’d have kids from the neighborhood pool and family. When I was young, I always wanted a school-year birthday because it seemed like they got more attention. I contend this isn’t just true for our personal birthdays, but also for the birthday of the church.

That’s what today is after all – Pentecost Sunday! The Birthday of the Church.

imageNow, unlike our birthdays which fall on the same date each year, Pentecost falls on different days because it’s always 50 days after Easter and Easter moves around. This year Easter was pretty early, so while Pentecost is usually a summer-birthday-kind-of-day, this year it’s been upgraded to a school-year birthday! So instead of a lot of folks being scattered, we’re all here to celebrate together!

We’ve got our festive red outfits on, our flamed-ribbon-sticks in-hand, a dove flying in the procession, special music – the works! It’s quite a birthday celebration for the Church!

But why is Pentecost considered the birthday of the church?

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