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easter 6 picThe context of our Gospel today is once again set in the Upper Room on the night Jesus was betrayed.  This was a fateful night, not only because of what was about to happen to Jesus that night and the next day – arrest, trials, public condemnation and crucifixion – but it was also pivotal for the disciples because Jesus used that intimate gathering with his friends to prepare the time he will be gone from their sight.  We have the same artwork up here this morning.  Jesus giving what’s called his “Farewell Discourse” to his friends.  And you can see, they are stumped.  Troubled.  Unsettled.  Scared.  Feeling like they are about to be abandoned. Continue Reading »

easter 5 slide BThe pandemic has thrown us all for a loop.  I think that’s safe to say.  Not only have there been so many changes in our lives, but conditions have changed so quickly that we have already had to adjust the expectations we had as recently a month ago!  We thought things would go back to normal, but now we have to find a way to adjust to a new reality that seems so strange and unfamiliar. Continue Reading »

good shepherd imageTo understand the comfort in today’s Good Shepherd Gospel we do not need to understand anything about shepherds and sheep. However, it will help us to know something about the people to whom this Gospel was written.

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Picture1Today in our Gospel we get our first glimpse of the church gathered together on a Sunday.  And it wasn’t anything like you’d expect church to be. They didn’t sing together.  Or pray.  They didn’t listen to God’s Word.  They just sat huddled together fearing for their lives.

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easter picTHE NEW NORMAL

 

They started the day hunkered down at home in fear.

There was the cloud of unimaginable death hanging over them.

They were all scattered and distant from each other and they did not know how or when it was going to end.

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QUESTIONING JESUS what must i do

What must I do?

 

A rich young man questions Jesus. “What must I do to be saved?” he asks.  Does he really want the answer or is his question a way of confirming a false assumption he has made about himself?

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i am the rezToday’s Gospel is about a death and a resurrection.  It is a sad story – even Jesus weeps in it — but it has a very happy ending:  Lazarus walks out of the tomb and is reunited with his sisters.  Lazarus is actually one of three people Jesus raised from the dead during his ministry.  But we are not going to talk about resurrection today or the miracle that Jesus performed or the happy ending to this story.  I mean, I suppose we shouldn’t be talking about resurrection YET anyway!  Easter is still two weeks away and this is still Lent.

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