Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
4th Sunday of Easter  
Acts 9:36-43; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30; Psalm 23

Last Sunday we heard the story of the resurrected Jesus sharing some grilled fish on the sandy shore with his disciples. The interaction with Peter provides the ultimate commissioning of what Jesus’ followers are meant to do. They are to follow Jesus’ example. He has washed their feet, he has commanded them to love others as he has loved them, and in this story he concludes by three times asking Peter “Do you love me?” After the first reply of Yes!, Jesus then says: Feed my lambs. After the second reply, Jesus says: Tend my sheep. And, just for good measure, to the third Yes, Jesus replies: Feed my sheep.

In ancient times the role of the shepherd would have been understood by the hearers. For us, not so much. The closest experience I’ve had to tending sheep happened a couple of summers ago in Iona, Scotland on our J2A Pilgrimage.

sheep combinedIt was our first full day on the small island of Iona. After lunch our group of ten headed out to explore the island, toward the beach and unkempt “golf-course”. As we walked down the rugged road that ran between pastures and homes, we noticed a family in their yard up ahead. They, along with their border collie, were trying to herd their sheep into a corral. When they saw us approaching, they noticed our interest and asked if anyone would like to help. Piper and Shelby were all in and made haste into the yard. Sam Lyles, one of the leaders, stepped through the gate with camera in hand hoping to get some good shots, but quickly learned he, too, had been commissioned to help with the sheep. There was lots of running around, back and forth, flapping arms, yelling “Hah, hah!” and trying to get the sheep to go in a common direction – and I’ve got the video to prove it! It took a few tries, but they finally got it done! Success! Read the rest of this entry »

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

Proper 25 – Year C RCL

Haggai 1:15b-2:9, Psalm 145:1-5, 18-21, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17, 16-18, Luke 20:27-38

This may be a bit unorthodox, but I have a confession to make to you today. For the past couple of months, something has changed in my life, and I want to get it out into the open, so here goes…

I’ve started listening to contemporary Christian music. I know… it’s a shock…

It all began quite innocently, really – shortly after I bought my new car in late August. You see, like most new cars these days, mine came with a trial subscription to Sirius XM radio. As I was flipping through the stations to program my favorite Country, Pop, and NPR stations, I came across Channel 63… The Message.

Although I’ve listened to Christian music from time to time over the years, it hasn’t been a main-stay of my music selection… but for some reason, a few weeks ago, I decided to save the station on one of the programmed buttons… just as a fall-back if nothing else worth listening to came on. Or at least that’s what I told myself.

Little did I know how much time I would spend listening to this Christian music. It caught me off-guard to find it to be so upbeat; so positive; so inspiring… so it kept drawing me back in.

Before I knew it, I was downloading Christian music to my iPad…

I’ve even been listening to it while I’m at work…

And, I really knew it was getting out of hand when I realized how it had permeated my subconscious. Read the rest of this entry »

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