“After the Goodbyes”
Our sermon passage this morning is one I am very familiar with…I have used this particular passage many, many times. But this time when I read it, I was a bit surprised, it almost seems out of place, out of sequence here in the gospel of John. We are still in Eastertide remembering the empty tomb, and just three chapters earlier, we have been hearing about life, abundant life, life that comes with knowing Christ.
The passage this morning takes place when Jesus is talking to the Pharisees, now the Pharisees have often been at odds with Jesus. To you and me this story about shepherds and sheep does not relate much to our lives, but the Pharisees would have a connection and could easily relate to what Jesus is talking about.
“Hope & Expectations”
The passage we are reading this morning is about the second appearance of Jesus after his death of resurrection. The gospel of Luke is the only gospel that contains this story. This scripture passage begins with, “now on that same day,” which means it is the same day that we have talked about the past two weeks, the same day of Mary’s discovering the empty tomb, the same day as Jesus appearing to his disciples behind closed doors and now Jesus present to two disciples as they walked to Emmaus, a journey taking them about 7 miles from Jerusalem.
“Living Into Christ’s Peace”
We are now in this post-resurrection time that we call “Eastertide”. I like that this Easter season continues for a while, we don’t celebrate Easter, the empty tomb and just move on. No, we linger here at the tomb a bit and it gives us time to live into this new reality, this new reality of what it means that the Lord of our life is always bringing forth new life…even life from death. This special Easter season lasts for 40 days and ends on Pentecost Sunday which this year falls on May 28th! We have 40 days to linger at the tomb.
“Who Are You Looking For?”
Who are you looking for is the question before us on this Easter morning. The resurrection story of Jesus is found in all four gospels and not every depiction of this event is exactly the same, each gospel shares a different perspective of that first morning when the tomb is found empty, but all stories have a central focus of looking for Jesus…looking for Jesus who is no longer in the tomb. I believe that is true for us still today, we continue to look for Jesus, holding on to the defining message that life comes after death is still the same.
“Peace or Power”
Today we are waving our palms, remembering Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Jesus knows where he is headed…he knows the road he is on and what he will most likely face. Tensions have been building for days now. Hundreds of people are gathering in Jerusalem for Passover and there is a history of violence against the peasants. As I relive this picture in my mind, I ponder several questions and I invite you to ponder along with me. How does Jesus view his own entry into Jerusalem, what does he see when he gazes into the eyes of the people gathered along the path as he passes by?
“Asking Different Questions”
This morning our theme of Seeking takes us to ask the question, “Who Sinned?” It’s an innocent question that arrives out of one’s desire to understand how this world works and at the same time is arrives out of one’s own fears and worries about why things go awry, why bad things happen, and in our passage this morning we are faced with a specific question of why a baby is born blind. What is the cause of this? As we hear this passage, we must remember that medical care, illness, and disabilities were thought of in a whole different way in those days.
“What Are You Truly Thirsting For?”
Seeking: Will you give me a drink? Wells, water, and God’s presence, all have been a part of our spiritual heritage since the beginning of the recording of experiences with God. The Old Testament passage verifies this connection when the Israelites are thirsty, and Moses hits the rock with his staff and water flows. The people are thirsty, and God again reveals God ‘s care of the people
“Who Will You Listen To?”
During this Lenten Season we are following a general theme titled: Seeking, Seeking honest questions for deeper faith. This worship resource is created by the group Sanctified Arts. We will be looking at scripture through the eyes of people who are seeking something. Each scripture passage will contain a story that will reveal a unique kind of seeking, really a pursuit for understanding, maybe a new way to see God and who God is in one’s life, or maybe who we are as believers of the living God.
This Sunday has a special designation of being the day we remember the “Transfiguration of the Lord.” That tells us that this is an important event in the life of the church that spans many generations; so important that we need to it remember again and again. As I read this passage, there are three viewpoints I would like you to take as you listen to the words of scripture.