Holy Rollers and Drunk Disciples (Lectionary Study for Sunday, May 19th, 2013)

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) Gospel John 14:8-17, 25-27 Phillips still doesn’t get that Jesus and God “the Father” are one and the same. But Jesus gets over being annoyed pretty quickly and assures him that he (and we) can and will do even greater things than Jesus when we do them in God’s name. We’re endowed with the Holy Spirit, or the “spirit of truth,” to keep us on the path that Jesus laid out for us. First Reading Acts 2:1-21 The beginning of … [Read more...]

It’s Not Fair! (Video Overview for May 5, 2013)

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Is fairness the same as justice? Is there more than one kind of justice? Can God be just without being fair? Does this youtube make me look fat? Those questions and more in this week's Heretic's Guide to the Bible. … [Read more...]

Going Up! (AKA: Jesus in Space) Lectionary Texts for Sunday, May 12, 2013

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) Gospel Luke 24:44-53 Jesus gives the disciples the power to understand the scriptures clearly. He claims he is given the ability to impart this power to them from God. He ascends to heaven and they wait for further instruction in Jerusalem, praising both God and Jesus in the meantime. First Reading Acts 1:1-11 The disciples are to be empowered by the Holy Spirit soon. They want to know when; Jesus tells them that timing isn’t any of their … [Read more...]

It’s Not Fair! (Lectionary Texts for Sunday, May 5, 2013)

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) Gospel John 14:23-29 Jesus speaking about his ascension to heaven to be with God. (or) John 5:1-9 Jesus heals a man who has been waiting by the healing pool in Jerusalem for 38 years. He also does this on the Sabbath. First Reading Acts 16:9-15 Paul has a vision, and the disciples go to Macedonia, a Roman colony. They meet Lydia on the Sabbath and her family converts to Christianity. She invited them to stay in her home, “…if you … [Read more...]

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy: God Serves Up a Feast of Deliverance (BONUS CONTENT)

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Yummy, Yummy, Yummy – God Serves Up a Feast of Deliverance A Heretic’s Guide to the Bible Bonus Readings from Beyond the Lectionary by David Ackerman for Easter 5: April 28, 2013 Bible Cliff’s Notes  Gospel  Mark 8:1-10:  Jesus feeds a crowd of about four thousand people, starting with only seven loaves of bread and a few small fish.  After sharing the meal, they take away seven baskets full of the leftover pieces. First Reading  2 Samuel 9:1-13a – Mephibosheth is a young … [Read more...]

Those People (Lectionary Texts for Sunday, April 28th, 2013)

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) Gospel John 13:31-35 Jesus knows his disciples want to go with him, but where he is going, they can’t follow. Instead he commands them to love each other as he has loved them. He reminds them that the way people will recognize them as disciples of Jesus is by how generously they love. First Reading Acts 11:1-18 Peter is criticized for hanging out with uncircumcised gentiles (i.e., non-Jews). God’s command, in a vision to Peter, is … [Read more...]

Are You a Man or a Sheep? (Lectionary Texts for Sunday, April 21, 2013)

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) Gospel John 10:22-30 The Temple in Jerusalem has been dedicated. Jesus is in the temple and some Jewish people there ask him to be straight with them about whether or not he is the Messiah. He says they won’t believe him anyway, but that he is. He uses the sheep/shepherd image to symbolize the relationship between him and his believers. First Reading Acts 9:36-43 Peter is in Joppa and raises Tabitha (AKA, Dorcas) from the dead. Upon … [Read more...]

Feed Me, Seymour: A Search for Real Meaning (Lectionary Texts for Sunday, April 14, 2013)

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) Gospel John 21:1-19 Jesus’ third appearance to the disciples after the resurrection. They’re not catching fish; Jesus tells them to try the other side of the boat and they catch hundreds. First Reading Acts 9:1-6 Paul (called Saul until he converted to Christianity, then renamed Paul), the erstwhile professional Christian assassin, encounters Jesus on the road to Damascus. This is a pretty big deal for Paul, and the turning point after … [Read more...]

Truth or Fact? Lectionary Texts for Sunday, April 7th

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Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!) Gospel John 20:19-31 Jesus appears to his disciples and breathes the Holy Spirit into them. He endows them with powers of healing and forgiveness of sin. Thomas wasn’t there and doesn’t believe unless he sees Jesus for himself. Jesus reappears to the disciples and lets Thomas feels his wounds, and says, “Happy are those who haven’t seen and still believe.” First Reading Acts 5:27-32 Disciples are brought before the high priest an … [Read more...]

Resurrection for Dummies: Reflections on the Easter Texts

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Easter Sunday March 31, 2013 ∞ Bible Cliff’s Notes (Or, the Dog Ate My Bible) Gospel: Luke 24:1-12 Jesus’ tomb is empty. The women who discover he’s gone and then Peter are baffled. First Reading: Acts 10:34-43 Peter speaks to Cornelius and a group of Gentiles about the resurrection and about God showing no favor to a particular group of people. Psalm: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 The stone rejected by builders is now the foundation stone. Psalmist also rejoices in God’s … [Read more...]