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Matthew 28:16-20

Trinity Sunday A

As we begin Ordinary time with Trinity Sunday, we are reminded by Jesus’s closing words of God’s great promise and God’s great calling (or commission) for those who follow him. We know these words quite well; they have driven missions movements, been used in countless baptism liturgies, and closed many conferences, worship services and meetings….

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2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Trinity Sunday A

The Revised Common Lectionary invites those who follow it to observe the first Sunday after Pentecost as Trinity Sunday. So we’re not surprised that the RCL chooses part of 2 Corinthians 13 as its Epistolary Lesson. Paul’s second letter to Corinth’s Christians ends, after all, with what we sometimes call a “Trinitarian Formula.” However, there…

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Acts 1:1-21

Pentecost

It’s hard to remember a Pentecost Sunday on which the brokenness and division of the world into which God sent the Holy Spirit was on fuller display than 2023’s. So much pulls groups of people and nations apart that if people are to be united, something drastic must happen. Yet Luke begins his description of…

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Acts 2:1-21

Pentecost

It was an annual holiday and so people knew what to expect.  That’s how it goes with regularly occurring events.  Yes, there can be minor variations but when it’s Christmastime, we all have our typical ways of celebrating the occasion and the same goes for Easter or Thanksgiving or even the Fourth of July.  We…

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John 7:37-39

Pentecost

For Pentecost this year, our lectionary text places right smack dab in the middle of it all, in Jerusalem at the Festival of Booths (better known to some as Sukkot or the Festival of Tabernacles). It’s important to have a few things in mind about this particular festival. First, it’s the festival. It’s the weeklong…

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1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11

Easter 7A

Near the end of his first letter to the Christian diaspora, Peter returns to one of its main themes: suffering for the sake of the faith. But as he does so, he also both puts an eschatological “spin” on and offers a promise in regard to that Christian suffering. This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson contains a…

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Acts 1:6-14

Easter 7A

When it comes to what’s up and what’s down in this passage, there is a lot of back-and-forth when you think about it. First off, as we begin Acts, Jesus is where he has been for about the last six weeks: he is mostly here on this earth walking around with, eating dinner with, and…

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John 17:1-11

Easter 7A

Unity, it seems, is that elusive description for God’s church. We hear the calls for it but disagree on the terms. We know it is part of God’s solution for what ails humanity, but we cannot grasp the way of sacrifice on the road to peace. We rightly identify it as the way that Jesus…

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Acts 17:22-31

Easter 6A

Well, you win some and you lose some. Paul had some experience with the truth of that old adage, and some of the relevant experiences can be seen in Acts 17 and Paul’s famous conversation with the Athenians at the Areopagus. The day was not without its spiritual victories.  The chapter concludes by telling us…

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John 14:15-21

Easter 6A

Separating this part of Jesus’s conversation with the disciples from last week’s helps us focus on the bonded (in the sense of stuck to/with) nature of God-with-us, no matter which particular person of the Trinity it is who is with us. The ties that bind us, of course, is the love of God. If we…

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