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Acts 2:1-21

Pentecost C

COVID-19.  Has anything in our experience ever made us think as much about the act of respiration, of breathing, than the global pandemic we have been in for over two years now?  Way back in 2006 I visited Japan.  At that time there was no particular flu bug worrying anyone.  Yet I was struck to…

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Acts 16:16-34

Easter 7C

It was certainly an interesting day! In this story we get a little occult, an exorcism, some political intrigue, an earthquake, and in the end the exuberant joy of the gospel! Your average Lord’s day it was not. As Luke narrates it for us in Acts 16, Paul and Silas’ experiences in the city of…

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Acts 16:9-15

Easter 6C

How did the Holy Spirit prevent Paul and company from entering into the regions of Asia, as Acts 16 narrates this for us?  Yes, Luke (our narrator) makes clear that the Spirit “prevented” them from going in the direction they were minded to go, but I wonder just how that all worked out.  Should we…

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Acts 11:1-18

Easter 5C

Luke is hands-down one of the best writers ever used by the Holy Spirit to compose a portion of Scripture.  His narratives in the first two chapters of his Gospel alone prove as much.  Other examples of narrative wizardry abound in Luke and Acts.  So it is a bit odd in Acts 11 to encounter…

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Acts 9:36-43

Easter 4C

Call her “Tabitha” or call her “Dorcas” the meaning in both Aramaic and Greek was the same: “Gazelle.”  Was it her given name or a nickname that matched her lifestyle?  We don’t know but by all appearances the woman best known as Dorcas was gazelle-like indeed.  She was lightning fast at helping the poor and…

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Acts 9:1-6 (7-20)

Easter 3C

Acts 9 is one of those stories that has proven to have a pretty wide reach.  Mention the phrases “Damascus road experience” or “scales falling from your eyes” to most anyone—even to people who are not regular churchgoers—and they’ll know what you mean for the most part.  And to the minds of some of those…

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Acts 5:27-32

Easter 2C

Oh how I wish the Lectionary had extended this lection to include the words of Gamaliel that follow.  Because there this key leader of the Sanhedrin says something that is at once utterly sensible and miraculously prescient.  Once Peter makes it clear that they cannot be frightened into silence by the likes of the Sanhedrin,…

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Acts 10:34-43

Easter Sunday

Comments, Observations, and Questions When you are a devout person who wants nothing more than to serve God, then there are few shocks to the system quite as great as spiritual shocks.  Just ask the apostle Peter.  He knows all about this kind of thing.  Because unlike some of our religious customs and taboos today—the…

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Acts 8:14-17

Epiphany 1C

Familiarity may, as the old cliche goes, breed contempt. But sometimes it also breeds a kind of blindness. I’ve written a sermon commentary on Acts 8:14-17. I’ve preached on it multiple times. My familiarity with it hasn’t yet dimmed my fascination with one of the Scriptures’ most mysterious and intriguing stories. However, my relative familiarity…

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Acts 2:2-21

Pentecost B

Arguably it is harder to write a fresh sermon on Pentecost than on Christmas or Easter.  Those last two major events in redemptive history are proclaimed in multiple Biblical texts, so there are different angles to take on Christmas and Easter.  Pentecost, on the other hand, is reported in only one text, our text for…

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