Preaching Connection: Easter

Additional content related to Easter

Easter 5B: Fruitfulness or Productivity

Jesus says, “Remain in me as I remain in you.” To my mind, that’s one of the lousiest translations I can think of. It completely ignores the personal and spiritual dimensions of what Jesus is talking about here. In Greek, the word is menein. It’s one of the most important words in this whole gospel,…

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Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21

Relatively few avid readers that I know enjoy surprise endings, especially to books they’ve come to savor. After all, life seems to end all too often in tragedy. Perhaps partly as a result, most readers prefer our literature to end at least hopefully, if not happily. Sometimes, however, books end not surprisingly or hopefully, but…

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John 17:20-26

Though Jesus prayed this prayer before his crucifixion and resurrection, as part of the season of Easter this passage continues to shape our understanding of the Resurrection New Life that God invites us to live. This is especially true because Christ’s prayer is for his people across time and space—and not just the disciples who…

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Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5

Revelation 21 is the last stop on the RCL’s “tour” of the book Revelation. That tour is so short that I sometimes wonder if those who constructed it were impatient to get to its happy ending. It’s almost as if they so tired of Revelation’s horrors that they decided to hurdle most of them so…

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John 5:1-9

The Lectionary gives us a choice on texts this week. I’m choosing to work with the healing on the Sabbath that occurred at the pool of Bethesda. By the way, if you’re looking to preach on the other lectionary text option this week, my colleague Scott wrote on it the last time through the Year…

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John 13:31-35

God glories in every act of love. We know this already about God’s own acts, but we might forget how it applies to our acts of love as well. The opening of the lectionary passage immediately follows the reveal of Judas—who is entered by Satan—as Jesus’ betrayer (it’s Judas who is referred to as leaving…

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Revelation 21:1-6

While we sometimes say, “The devil is in the details,” we might say part of this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s “gospel is in the details.” After all, some of Revelation 21’s greatest news lies in its verb tenses. In it, the Spirit inspires John to see “a new heaven and a new earth” (1). This is,…

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John 10:22-30

This passage follows very closely Jesus’ “I am the good shepherd” speech. People were already suspicious of Jesus and how he described himself, thinking he had a demon or was out of his mind. There were some, though, who thought there might be more to Jesus than madness or possession (verse 20). Some scholars see…

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Revelation 7:9-17

When Christians recite the Apostle’s Creed, we profess that we believe in “the holy catholic church.” But sweet Miss Virginia always stayed silent during that part of the profession. “I’m sorry, Pastor,” she once apologized to me. “I was raised to believe that Catholics aren’t Christians. So I still have a very hard time saying…

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John 21:1-19

Perhaps like you, most of the times that I have preached this text I have honed in on Peter being re-rooted in Christ and commissioned for what will come in his life and ministry. So, this year I’m focusing on what happens to the group of disciples, Peter included. It helps that our text today…

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Revelation 5:11-14

This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s John reminds me of young children who tell their parents or grandparents a story that so excites them that it tumbles out of them in a string of run-on sentences that begin with “And ….” You may know the form. “I was walking home from school and I saw this big…

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John 20:19-31

Comments, Questions and Observations Often, the focus of this week’s Easter Lectionary is on Thomas. His “doubt” is rather relatable, and it seems to be what Jesus reflects directly upon when he declares a beatitude about belief.  (It really is too bad for Thomas that he wasn’t there that Easter evening with the other disciples….

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Revelation 1:4b-8

Comments, Observations, and Questions Revelation is the Bible’s final book. That may be one reason why many Christians have historically thought of it as largely future-oriented. But the Spirit who inspires its author doesn’t just point John and his readers toward the future. The Spirit also reaches back into the mists of eternity. Revelation isn’t…

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Luke 24:1-12

Comments, Questions and Observations When we begin reading this account it might seem like it is an anonymous group headed to the tomb at dawn—the members of the group aren’t named until all the way in verse 10. But, we know from the close of the previous chapter, as they followed Jesus’ body to his…

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1 Corinthians 15:19-26

Comments, Observations, and Questions Death stinks – both literally and figuratively. While such a reminder may not seem like a particularly popular (or common) way to begin an Easter proclamation, it is the context within which we begin any and every proclamation of Easter’s great news. Even after Jesus rose from the dead, death still…

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1 Corinthians 15:12-20

Paul calls Jesus’ resurrection “of first importance.” Yet does it really matter whether Jesus rose, in John Updike’s lyrical words, “as His body” (Seven Stanzas at Easter), or as Gerd Ludemann insisted in a 2012 debate, the Scripture’s accounts of it were just a “legend, not objective description”? Does it really make any difference whether…

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1 Corinthians 15:1-11

I am a child of the North American 60’s who grew up watching some Saturday morning cartoons. So I can hardly hear 1 Corinthians 15:10a without hearing Popeye’s, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all that I yam. I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.” That might seem like a rather strange onramp to a consideration…

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Easter: While It Was Still Dark

A few short days ago many of you attended a Tenebrae service. If you did, then you know that that service of shadows ends in darkness and silence. Liturgically that service is the deepest shade of purple that culminated the purple season of Lent.  This Easter morning, however, you came to church anticipating the color…

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Acts 9:1-6, (7-20)

As I said last week in my comments on Acts 5, during the season of Easter the Lectionary switches from its customary focus on the Old Testament in the first reading, in order to follow the effects of Easter on the early church in the book of Acts.  It is an ingenious way to show…

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John 20:1-18

A friend of mine who is a true believer in the Gospel once confessed to me that Easter services can be a little hard on him.  There’s just something about all that exuberance, all that blaring brass, all those bright lights and white lilies that combine to go sufficiently over the top in ways he…

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Isaiah 65:17-25

Every preacher knows what a challenge it is to preach on Easter.  On the one hand, it is the epicenter of the Gospel, the event that makes or breaks the claims of Jesus, as Paul says in I Corinthians 15.  So, how can we mere mortals do justice to such a world changing moment in…

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Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Call it the little Psalm that could.  Call it the Psalm of stealth and surprise.  Call it the Psalm that fits the Gospel bill. Why?  Because out of all the 150 psalms in the Hebrew Psalter, many people have their favorites but those favorites—most anybody’s “Top 10 Greatest Hits of the Psalter” list—would likely not…

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1 Corinthians 15:19-26

Some biblical texts deal with rather ordinary things such stealing, eating and even caring for animals.  Other texts, however, open readers’ eyes to far bigger issues.  While Paul talks much about daily concerns early in his first letter to the Corinthians, he closes it by talking about bigger concerns.  As Daniel J. Price to whose…

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Symposium 2018: Dusty Faith

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Psalm 30

Easter and Eastertide have now passed this calendar year and yet in the Sundays after Pentecost the Lectionary provides us with some wonderful poetry to help us continue living into and celebrating Easter. With its imagery of death and resurrection, Psalm 30 is a perfect post-Easter Psalm. Its purpose is to keep the memory of…

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Easter: The Next Step

Sermon on John 21 by John Rottman at River Terrace CRC in Lansing, Mich. Used by permission of River Terrace.

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Meet the Risen Christ

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Worship Service: Living in God’s New Creation

06-Jan-07

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