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David Ewart
Vancouver, BC CANADA
Husband, father of two grown sons, United Church of Canada minister
Interests: brain-mind research, physics, cosmology, process theology, evolution, leadership
Recent Activity
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. As usual with the Season of Easter, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa: Soaking in the swirling eddies and quiet back pools of his repetitive, non-sequitur, images and stories. John wants us to really GET the life that is Jesus. What could be more refreshing than that? At dawn, the women came to the tomb Easter Vigil April 20, 2019 Luke 24:1-12 "This lesson contains no resurrection. But this lesson also contains trusting the amazing void." Sermon: "To be added." But Mary stayed weeping outside the tomb Easter Day April 21, 2019 John 20:1-18, Alternate Reading A "As the Word descended from the Father and became flesh at the start of John's Gospel, Mary is experiencing the reverse process - of the flesh becoming Word." Sermon: "The Rising." At dawn, the women came to the tomb Luke 24:1-12, Alternate Reading B "This lesson contains no resurrection. But this lesson also contains trusting the amazing void." Sermon: "To be added." Jesus himself came near and went with them Easter Evening April 21, 2019 Luke 24:13-49 "The details reported in Luke... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Holy Textures
I recently had a wonderful time auditing a two week intensive on John. It was great to be part of such an excellent class of fellow students and teacher. Here are my personal top take-aways: 1. When John refers to "the Jews" (as he does over and over again), ask yourself: Is John referring to the 8,000,000 people living throughout the Roman Empire who identified as belonging to the people of Israel? Or to put it another way: Is John wanting us to include as one of "the Jews" Lazarus - whom the text says Jesus loved; and Mary - who anointed him before his arrest? And when John actually includes "Jews" in the story, who are they? (Answer: about 90% of the time they are Judean elites who were collaborating with the Roman Empire as local rulers.) (The Greek text uses the word for Judean, i.e. people from the geographic region called Judah - which historically was in the process of becoming the generic word Romans used to refer to the entire people of Israel. English translators have continued this practice even though it is often debatable as to whether this is the correct meaning.) 2. The pascal lamb that is sacrificed on Passover is NOT a sin offering. Identifying Jesus as a sin offering is not Johannine. Jesus' death (at most) is an offering for protection, community formation, and escape from bondage. John is placing Jesus in the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2019 at Holy Textures
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The Transfiguration is an apt Preface to Lent and Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, because what lies ahead is both a confrontation between the non-violent justice of the Kingdom of God and the violent injustice of the Roman Empire; as well as the non-violent way of the Beloved versus the hoped-for victory by the Messiah. The crowds at Jerusalem will be cheering for "the one who is bringing the Kingdom of our ancestor David." This is not the same as welcoming God's Beloved. I wonder how much in our hearts, we are still cheering for Jesus as the triumphant Victor? (c) Armando Alemdar Ara, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence 3.0 Year C Transfiguration Sunday March 3, 2019 Sunday before Ash Wednesday May be as early as February 1 or as late as March 7 inclusive OR Year C Lent 2, Alternate Reading B March 17, 2019 Read the passage at the bottom of this post: Luke 9:28-36, (37-43), The Message or Luke 9:28-36, (37-43), The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Sermon by the Rev. Dr. George Hermanson, "Fresh Visions." This passage requires reading the First Testament passages about the prophet Elijah, 2 Kings 2:1-12: The Message or The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). "About 8 days after" could be a foreshadowing of a later 8th day - what we now call Easter Sunday. On the 7th day, Saturday, the Sabbath, God rested; on a Sunday, the next day, the 8th day, Jesus... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2019 at Holy Textures
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We may be a United Church, but we are definitely not a uniform church. In 2011, there were about 3,000 congregations: 1,500 were single-point pastoral charges, and 1,500 were part of 659 multiple-point pastoral charges. If the United Church were uniform, one would expect to find that the people and financial resources of single-point pastoral charges would equal multiple-point pastoral charges. In the chart, the two blue bars are the single-point pastoral charges. The light blue bar shows the 300 congregations with the highest average worship attendance, while the dark blue bar represents the remaining 1,200 single-point charges. The orange bar represents all 1,500 multiple-point congregations. The total money raised by the light blue group is 65 percent higher than the total for all multiple-point pastoral charges combined. In fact, in almost every Year Book measurement, the top 300 congregations exceed the total of the multiple-point pastoral charges. Make no mistake: a congregation in the top 300 is not better than a multiple-point congregation. Each will have its own strengths and challenges — but very different strengths and very different challenges. Given the magnitude of the differences, I wonder if we don’t need to imagine ourselves, not as a United Church, but as a Trinitarian Church — one in three and three in one: (1) large single-point pastoral charges; (2) medium and small single-point pastoral charges; and (3) multiple-point pastoral charges. I wonder if we have the capacity to imagine... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2019 at David Ewart
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and faith-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. The 40 days of Lent do NOT include the Sundays. So the Sundays are referred to as being "in" Lent. For example, "Lent 2," means, "The second Sunday in Lent." This means the Sundays are always a mini-celebration of the resurrection - even in Lent. So, while we are preparing ourselves for the walk to Jerusalem and all that will happen during Holy Week, there is no need to pretend that we don't know about, and are not already celebrating, Jesus' resurrection. I've had the time to give a close reading of the Holy Week texts and background information. I come away even more amazed at the courage of Jesus to voluntarily face the torture and humiliation of Roman execution on a cross, in order to remain faithful to God's calling - God's purpose - for him: To proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand - knowing that doing so was treason in the eyes of the Roman Empire. As usual with the Season of Lent, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa: Soaking in the swirling eddies and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2019 at Holy Textures
Note: The opening paragraphs have been updated, December 3, 2018, to include quotations from the article to which this letter is responding. I have also deleted some of my more ill-tempered comments. The open letter below is published in response to an article which appeared in the November 25, 2018 issue of The Vancouver Sun: https://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/jason-byassee-ignoring-atheist-united-church-pastor-greta-vosper-is-the-best-policy. Dear Jason, I was surprised and somewhat puzzled by your opinion piece published in The Vancouver Sun in response to Gretta Vosper. I found the internal logic of your argument somewhat difficult to follow, and your assumptions about the history and ethos of the United Church misinformed. For example, your linking of Gretta Vosper's atheism with The United Church's support for LGBTQ2S+ is false and misleading. "Some of their Baby Boomer forebears in mainline denominations in Canada may have thought that to be more inclusive to the historically excluded gay or lesbian person, First Nations person or other excluded minority, they should tear down historic Christian doctrine." It is true that you can find both trickles of "tearing down historic Christian doctrine" and mighty streams of justice "to be more inclusive" within The United Church. But it is false to imply that affirming "inclusion" is based on anything other than our call as a Christian church to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. And The United Church has not been more decisive in dealing with Vosper's atheism not because of "anxiety," but because... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2018 at David Ewart
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Gospel texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. It can be daunting to start planning for Epiphany while still in the midst of Advent Christmas, so I hope this post will find a space for sowing seeds for the season yet to come. This year Epiphany falls on Sunday, January 6, which will provide an occasion for education about the lectionary and "12 Days of Christmas" as you explain why its January and we are still reading about the three magi. Easter is later this year, which gives the opportunity for a stretch or "ordinary" Sundays to catch one's breath before launching into getting ready for Lent. This means there are 8 Sundays following Epiphany before Ash Wednesday, March 6. This will give us time to sample Luke 3, 4, and 5 - with one detour into John (for reasons that escape my imagination). Unfortunately it also means we miss the last two sections of Luke's version of the Sermon the Mount - texts that every Christian needs to hear every year in my not-so-humble opinion. So if I can be presumptious, I recommend playing Epiphany in "Shuffle" mode, and at least every other year, work back from Transfiguration Sunday and include Epiphany 6, 7,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2018 at Holy Textures
Eternal damnation in the fiery pits of Hell. From its earliest days the Christian church has had a pretty compelling reason for everyone to go to church: damnation and hellfire. Not baptized? Off to hell you go. Haven't accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? Say "Hello" to Satan. The mission of the church is personal salvation. And personal salvation is a pretty compelling reason for the church to do everything it can to reach you. And for you to say, "Yes." But in more recent years, some churches have discovered other missions. One was to end the embarrassment of so many different Christian denominations. After all, isn't a direct quote from the Bible the prayer of Jesus that "all might be one." It is: John 17:21. So here and there, a few like the United Church of Canada set church union as a prime mission. Coming to church so that all might be one has a nice Canadian feeling to it. But it's not quite as compelling a reason as avoiding eternal damnation. And that "oneness" feeling can be found in quite a few other locations. And at more convenient times. No need to go to church for that reason. A second mission that some churches have discovered is "the Social Gospel." The Social Gospel is based on simply noticing that Jesus spends most of his time with and for the poor, the outcasts, the ill, the socially despised.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2018 at David Ewart
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Gospel texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. This year, Christmas Eve is on Monday, so it'll be a busy few days for Advent 4, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Be prepared! (Don't you love it when the Gospel proclamation has a direct application to those who proclaim the Gospel?) Blessings to all those who prepare and host gatherings where worship encounters anew the presence of the Holy One / Holy Three. Year C - Seasons of Advent & Christmas - 2018 Alternate Advent Click Christmas Story in Advent for 4 Advent lessons and Candle Lighting suggestions that tell the stories of Mary and Joseph, Mary and Elizabeth, the Shepherds, and the Magi. I have stopped using the Lectionary during Advent. Why? It seems to me that in this day and age you can never tell the story of the first Christmas early enough or often enough. It is far better to begin with the story we are trying to tell - Christmas - and then provide the historical context along the way. Starting with the historical / theological / history of salvation has the unintentional effect of making the story we are wanting to tell seem like nothing more than a foretold, logical conclusion... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and faith-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year B - Season after Pentecost - 2018, Part 2 September to Reign of Christ or Christ the King One of the things I like about Year B with its focus on Mark is that we get a fuller reading of the Gospel text. A richer, more detailed hearing of Mark's narrative, of Mark's testimony, of Mark's proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The questions I ask myself in each of the commentaries below are always: "Why was this Good News at the time of Jesus? Why is this Good News for us, here and now?" I pray you will be able to use these offerings to respond to those questions in your own context. Note that in Pentecost, the Sundays are numbered as "after" Pentecost Sunday. So the first Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, is Pentecost 1. And because the dates of Easter and Pentecost change each year, so do the number of Sundays that follow Pentecost. Eating with unclean hands Pentecost 15 September 2, 2018 Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 "The struggle that every community in every age - including our own - faces is how can the 'tradition of the elders,' which has... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2018 at Holy Textures
Luke 13: 1-9 Am I the only one here who talks to themselves? Isn’t it interesting that our human brain has evolved so that it is constantly talking to itself? Our brain is constantly telling itself a story about what it is experiencing. A few years ago I read an interesting article on resilience. Researchers are interested in how different people experience trauma differently from one another. Two people have the same traumatic experience. One then has life-long PTSD. The other changes, learns, grows, recovers. One is traumatized. The other is resilient. One way of describing this difference is that one person constantly RE-LIVES the experience; while the other person learns how to RE-CALL the experience without reliving it. Their response to a trigger is, “Oh, that reminds me …” They have quite literally RE-MINDED themselves by developing a whole new set of neural pathways in their brains that mute RE-LIVING and switch on RE-CALLING. When we talk to ourselves, we tell ourselves stories. What we call “TRAUMA” is when something bad happens that doesn’t fit into any of the stories we have been telling ourselves. Our daily news is full of these events. A child is shot and killed while enjoying a warm summer evening. A truck smashes into a hockey team’s bus. A heat wave kills 70 people. The Bible is also full of such events. And then, as now, people ask, “WHY?” Why did this happen? This... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2018 at David Ewart
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and faith-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year B - Season after Pentecost - 2018, Part 1 Trinity Sunday to Last Sunday of August One of the things I like about Year B with its focus on Mark is that we get a fuller reading of the Gospel text. A richer, more detailed hearing of Mark's narrative, of Mark's testimony, of Mark's proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The questions I ask myself in each of the commentaries below are always: "Why was this Good News at the time of Jesus? Why is this Good News for us, here and now?" I pray you will be able to use these offerings to respond to those questions in your own context. This summer is also your opportunity to preach Chapter 6 of John in August, so make sure to plan your vacation for July! Note that in Pentecost, the Sundays are numbered as "after" Pentecost Sunday. So the first Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, is Pentecost 1. And because the dates of Easter and Pentecost change each year, so do the number of Sundays that follow Pentecost. In the listing below, a lesson is shown as Not Used This Year if its date... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2018 at Holy Textures
On May 25, 2018 new privacy regulations - referred to their initials, GDPR - will become effective for the European Union. These regulations meet or exceed all other nations' requirements, and are therefore used as the default for Holy Textures. Your email subscription to Holy Textures already complies with those regulations. So no further action is required if you wish to continue to receive the Seasonal email update 5 times per year. Holy Textures uses FeedBlitz for its email subscription service. You can read the FeedBlitz Privacy Policy statement here: https://www.feedblitz.com/privacy. If you want your name and email address removed from the Holy Textures email subscription list, just follow the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email. Thank you for your interest in Holy Textures. I trust it has been, and will continue to be, a source of inspiration for your worship and Bible study. David Ewart. Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year B - Season of Easter - 2018 As usual with the Season of Easter, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa: Soaking in the swirling eddies and quiet back pools of his repetitive, non-sequitur, images and stories. John wants us to really GET the life that is Jesus. What could be more refreshing than that? He has been raised! Easter Vigil March 31, 2018 Mark 16:1-8 "It is women who witness the abject humiliation, degradation and torture of Jesus on the cross. It is women who hear him cry, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" It is women who witness his death. It is women who follow and witness where his body is placed. And so, fittingly, it is women who are the first witnesses of the empty tomb, and the first to receive the good news: He is risen!" Sermon: "To be added." But Mary stayed weeping outside the empty tomb Easter Day April 1, 2018 John 20:1-18, Alternate Reading A "As the Word descended from the Father and became flesh at the start of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2018 at Holy Textures
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Feb 24, 2018, 3:37AM Holy Textures had its one millionth page view today, February 24, 2018 at 3:37AM PST (Pacific Standard Time). Thanks to all who helped make this happen. Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2018 at Holy Textures
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Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year B - Season of Lent and Holy Week - 2018 The 40 days of Lent actually do NOT include the Sundays. So the Sundays are referred to as being "in" Lent. For example, "Lent 2," means, "The second Sunday in Lent." This means the Sundays are always a mini-celebration of the resurrection - even in Lent. So, while we are preparing ourselves for the walk to Jerusalem and all that will happen during Holy Week, there is no need to pretend that we don't know about, and are not already celebrating, Jesus' resurrection. I've had the time to give a close reading of the Holy Week texts and background information. I come away even more amazed at the courage of Jesus to voluntarily face the torture and humiliation of Roman execution on a cross, in order to remain faithful to God's calling - God's purpose - for him: To proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. As usual with the Season of Lent, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa: Soaking in the swirling eddies and quiet back... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2018 at Holy Textures
Hi Everyone, Not sure that this is best time of year to add another detail to your lives. But here goes. I have been making small tweaks and updates to Holy Textures, and will now prepare a new reminder for the start of each new season: Advent-Christmas, Epiphany, Lent-Holy-Week, Easter, and Pentecost. That'll be 5 emails a year with links for each of the Sundays in the season. I am also switching from FeedBurner to FeedBlitz to provide my email list service. You will soon receive an email from FeedBlitz informing you of this change. You don't need to take any further actions to continue to receive email from Holy Textures. If you want to unsubscribe - now or anytime later - just click on the link provided. I pray this email finds you well, and able to receive for yourselves all the blessings and gifts of faith, inspiration and heart-filling worship that you are preparing for others. Blessings, David Ewart Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2017 at Holy Textures
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I can't think of a good time to send out an email during Advent-Christmas with help for thinking about Epiphany. So I hope this one finds you in good spirits and enjoying the many gifts that come our way especially during these times. Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Gospel texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year B - Season of Epiphany - 2018 This year, there are 6 Sundays following Epiphany, January 6 and before Ash Wednesday, February 14. This will give us time to read through Chapter 1 of Mark - with one detour into John (for reasons that escape my imagination). I like a long Season of Epiphany because it gives a chance to catch one's breath after Advent-Christmas before plunging into planning and preparations for Lent. I've also included links to the final few readings for Epiphany even though they aren't scheduled for this year. These are good texts that are too often not read at all because of their placement at the end of Epiphany. So every once and a while, I adjust the schedule to include them. Epiphany of the Lord January 6 or May be used on the First Sunday of January Matthew 2:1-12. "That this comet is understood to be a sign... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2017 at Holy Textures
Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year B - Seasons of Advent & Christmas - 2017 Advent 1 December 3, 2017 Mark 13:24-37. "The lesson for Advent is still: Stay awake. Be alert. Live in expectation. Live now as you will when the Son of Man does return." Sermon: "A Cry of Absence." Advent 2 December 10, 2017 Mark 1:1-8. "Unlike us, John the Baptizer is a wild and woolly character. But like us, he lives to point people to one who is greater than himself. John is the first Christian in the sense that he is the first who gives witness to Jesus." Sermon: "A Cry of Peace." Advent 3 December 17, 2017 John 1:6-8, 19-28. "This Advent season is a time for us to wake up and see the light. It is time for us to do what is our work: to prepare the soil of our souls, so that the seed of God’s word can take root in us and put down deep and strong roots." Sermon: "A Cry of Joy." Advent 4 December 24, 2017 Luke 1:26-38. "As the story of Jesus' life is bookended with a special embedding of the spiritual and the material (spiritual conception at birth;... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2017 at Holy Textures
Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Year A - Season of Easter - 2017 This year, Easter is almost as late as it can possibly be. It has given me time to give a close reading of the Holy Week texts and background information. I come away even more amazed at the courage of Jesus to voluntarily face the torture and humiliation of Roman execution on a cross, in order to remain faith to God's calling - God's purpose - for him: To proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Whatever else Easter may mean, it surely is a sign that God has vindicated the words and deeds of Jesus. We can trust him and what he stood for. And give our own lives for his vision. As usual with the Season of Easter, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa: Soaking in the swirling eddies and quiet back pools of his repetitive, non-sequitor, images and stories. John wants us to really GET the life that is Jesus. What could be more refreshing than that? Easter Vigil April 15/16, 2017 Matthew 28:1-10 "To deny the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2017 at Holy Textures
Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Please click on the heading of any post or "Continue reading" to see the full post. Year A - Season of Lent and Holy Week - 2017 The 40 days of Lent actually do NOT include the Sundays. So the Sundays are referred to as being "in" Lent. For example, "Lent 2," means, "The second Sunday in Lent." This means the Sundays are always a mini-celebration of the resurrection - even in Lent. So, while we are preparing ourselves for the walk to Jerusalem and all that will happen during Holy Week, there is no need to pretend that we don't know about, and are not already celebrating, Jesus' resurrection. A close reading of the Holy Week texts and background information leaves me even more amazed at the courage of Jesus to voluntarily face the torture and humiliation of Roman execution on a cross, in order to remain faithful to God's calling - God's purpose - "this cup" - for him: To proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. As usual with the Season of Lent, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2017 at Holy Textures
Holy Textures is my attempt to provide a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. Please click on the heading of any post or "Continue reading" to see the full post. Year C - Season after Pentecost - 2016 Note that in Pentecost, the Sundays are numbered as "after" Pentecost Sunday. So the first Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, is Pentecost 1. Pentecost Sunday May 15, 2016 Acts 2:1-21 "We might all hear the same words - each in our own language - but we will not all hear and understand exactly the same meaning. The problem with life, and faith, and following Jesus is always: What does this mean?" Sermon: "All We Need Is Love." John 14:8-17, (25-27) "Those who are bonded into Jesus will know a Truthful Spirit who will (Verse 26): 'Teach you everything; and remind you of all that I have said to you.' We, who like Philip, have been with Jesus all this time, and still do not know him, should receive this promise with great joy and thanksgiving at Jesus' generosity. We have not been left alone." Sermon: "To be added." Trinity Sunday May 22, 2016 John 16:12-15 "We need to hear this brief section from Chapter 16, not as Jesus giving... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2016 at Holy Textures
Year C - Season of Lent and Holy Week - 2016 Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. The 40 days of Lent actually do NOT include the Sundays. So the Sundays are referred to as being "in" Lent. For example, "Lent 2," means, "The second Sunday in Lent." This means the Sundays are always a mini-celebration of the resurrection - even in Lent. So, while we are preparing ourselves for the walk to Jerusalem and all that will happen during Holy Week, there is no need to pretend that we don't know about, and are not already celebrating, Jesus' resurrection. I've had the time to give a close reading of the Holy Week texts and background information. I come away even more amazed at the courage of Jesus to voluntarily face the torture and humiliation of Roman execution on a cross, in order to remain faithful to God's calling - God's purpose - for him: To proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand knowing that doing so was treason in the eyes of the Roman Empire. As usual with the Season of Lent, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2016 at Holy Textures
Year C - Season of Easter - 2016 Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Biblical texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. As usual with the Season of Easter, we get to spend time with the Gospel of John. I like to think of John as like a good day at the spa: Soaking in the swirling eddies and quiet back pools of his repetitive, non-sequitor, images and stories. John wants us to really GET the life that is Jesus. What could be more refreshing than that? Easter Vigil March 26, 2016 Luke 24:1-12 "This lesson contains no resurrection. But this lesson also contains trusting the amazing void." Sermon: "To be added." Easter Day March 27, 2016 John 20:1-18, Alternate Reading A "As the Word descended from the Father and became flesh at the start of John's Gospel, Mary is experiencing the reverse process - of the flesh becoming Word." Sermon: "The Rising." Luke 24:1-12, Alternate Reading B "This lesson contains no resurrection. But this lesson also contains trusting the amazing void." Sermon: "To be added." Easter Evening March 27, 2016 Luke 24:13-49 "The details reported in Luke make it very clear that it was the same Jesus who was crucified who is now resurrected. And they are not seeing a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2016 at Holy Textures
Year C - Season of Epiphany - 2016 Holy Textures is a spot for my musings on the various Gospel texts that come our way through the Revised Common Lectionary. My goal is to provide timely, short, easy to use and thought-provoking background commentary for your sermon or bible study preparation. This year Epiphany falls on a Wednesday, January 6. There are 5 Sundays following Epiphany before Ash Wednesday, February 10. This will give us time to sample Luke 3, 4, and 5 - with one detour into John (for reasons that escape my imagination). Unfortunately it also means we miss Luke's version of the Sermon the Mount - texts that every Christian needs to hear every year in my not-so-humble opinion. So if I can be presumptious, I recommend playing Epiphany in "Shuffle" mode, and at least every other year, work back from Transfiguration Sunday and include Epiphany 6, 7, and 8 regardless of the dates. Easter is on the early side this year - March 27, which means Epiphany is shortened. I like a long Season of Epiphany because it gives a chance to catch one's breath after Advent-Christmas before plunging into getting ready for Lent. But not so this year. So let's catch our breath quickly! Epiphany of the Lord January 6 or May be used on the First Sunday of January Matthew 2:1-12. "That this comet is understood to be a sign of the birth of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2015 at Holy Textures