April 16, 2021

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Fourth Sunday of Easter – April 22, 2018 Acts 5:4-12 Psalm 23 I John 3:16-24 John 10:11-19 Today’s readings in their portrayal of the interrelationship of theology, spirituality, and ethics are appropriate in light of our recent celebration of Earth Day (April 22) and our upcoming celebrations of Arbor Day (April 30) and May Day, Beltane (May 1). We need theologies, spiritualities, and ethics that honor both heaven and earth, eternity and change, non-human and… Read more

April 10, 2021

The Third Sunday of Easter – April 18, 2021 Acts 3:12-19 Psalm 4 I John 3:1-7 Luke 24:36b-48 You can’t manage or control a resurrection. You can put it into your normal understanding of reality. Like all mystical experiences, resurrection is always life-shattering and initially beyond belief. We can neither expect or program a resurrection. But, when it comes, we are amazed and transformed. Can we who have heard the resurrection stories countless times, almost knowing them by heart, hear… Read more

April 3, 2021

Between Death and Resurrection : The Mystery of Holy Saturday Bruce G. Epperly During Holy Week, most of us focus on the palms, the passion, and the resurrection. The movement from celebration to desolation and surprising celebration again characterizes not only Holy Week but the realities of a meaningful life. We can’t escape suffering but our suffering is often transformed into joy by surprising events or unexpected insights and experiences. In the shadow of loss, the light of new birth… Read more

April 2, 2021

GOOD FRIDAY: SALVATION WITHOUT DIVINE VIOLENCE What do you do with Good Friday and the Cross when you’ve abandoned the centrality of the doctrines of substitutionary atonement and the divine necessity of Jesus’ death? Like many progressive Christians, I grew up hearing the mantras “Jesus died for our sins,” “Jesus died so that we might have eternal life and escape God’s wrath,” “Jesus paid the price for our salvation,” and “sin deserves death and Jesus stood in our place.” Recently,… Read more

April 2, 2021

The Second Sunday of Easter Acts 4:32-35 Psalm 133 I John 1:1-2:2 John 20:19-31 Some Sundays the preacher receives too possibilities for preaching. There are so many entry points we don’t know where to start. Today’s scriptures have too much going on to cover in just one sermon. They could easily be part of a sermon series on practices of Easter. Or, if you want to deviate from the lectionary, you can spend two weeks on the gospel reading –… Read more

March 31, 2021

GREETING The Seven Last Words are a harmonizing of sayings attributed to Jesus from the four canonical gospels. No one gospel contains all seven sayings, but the sayings give a picture of Jesus’ suffering and death. The Cross describes the realities of human suffering, abandonment, and death, often at the hands of powerful governmental and religious institutions. The collection of Jesus’ final words gives voice to the experiences of persons in oncology wards, hospices, separated by COVID, and victims of… Read more

March 25, 2021

The Adventurous Lectionary – Easter Sunday – April 4, 2021 Acts 10:34-43 Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 I Corinthians 15:19-26 John 20:1-18 and Mark 16:1-8 Every day, I wake up with the affirmation, “This is the day that God has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” In this time of COVID, when many live by fear and anxiety, I rejoice and give thanks that I am alive, grateful, and open to unheard of possibilities. What new and glorious thing… Read more

March 19, 2021

The Adventurous Lectionary – Palm and Passion Sunday – March 28, 2021 Bruce G. Epperly Mark 11:1-11 Philippians 2:5-11 Mark 14:1-15:47 (or 15:1-47) A living faith is an all-season faith. It embraces the highs and the lows, moments of elation and desolation, celebration and lament. This year will mark our second Palm Sunday on Zoom. We hope for an outdoor service at the beach at sunrise, but won’t be going back to in-person worship for another month at the earliest,… Read more

March 16, 2021

The Celts were adventurers. They sailed off into unknown lands, sometimes sailing without a rudder, trusting that God would bring them to their place of resurrection, their place of wholeness and vocation. Each day was greeted as an adventure, filled with danger and possibility. Aware of the challenges of life, and beauty and tragedy around every corner, Celtic travelers often drew a circle around themselves as they began each journey. The circle (or “caim”) reminded them that they were always… Read more

March 11, 2021

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Fifth Sunday in Lent – March 21, 2021 Jeremiah 31:31-34 Psalm 51:1-12 Hebrews 5:5-10 John 12:20—33 Holy Week is on the horizon, and many pastors are struggling to maintain zest from preaching as the pandemic moves into its second year. Some churches will attempt in person worship – outdoors if the weather permits; and carefully indoors, wondering whether to sing the familiar hymns of Easter triumph. There will still be a lot of Holy Saturday,… Read more

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