Easter Series: Feeling Our Way Forward into the Future
Right now we are wondering what the future holds. As the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps the globe we know we will be entering a new normal. What that new normal will be remains unclear, but we know the risen Christ goes with us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the same way the Resurrection upended all the expectations, good or ill, of Jesus’ disciples. Nothing would ever be the same for them! Everything would be new and unknown. The post-Resurrection appearances of Christ in the Gospels and the narrative of The Acts of the Apostles (traditionally read during Easter instead of the Old Testament lesson) show an unfolding story of discovery and increasing understanding for the disciples. If they appeared often clueless before Jesus died, they are even more so, after he rose to new life! There is so much about this new reality to be explored!
Come on that journey with them as we travel through the 50 days and seven Sundays of Easter to Pentecost!
April 19 Second Sunday of Easter: The Festival of the Resurrection
Acts 2: 14a, 22-32; John 20: 19-31
Both Peter and Thomas make great changes because of the Resurrection. Christ Jesus raises US, too, to new life.
April 26 Third Sunday of Easter
Luke 24: 13-35
The travelers to Emmaus don’t recognize Jesus right beside them! Do we miss the Jesus right beside us? Do we prevent others from seeing Jesus?
May 3 Fourth Sunday of Easter
“Called into Community”
Acts 2: 42-47; Psalm 23; John 10: 1-10
The risen Christ calls his followers into community as sheep are called together by their shepherd. We have been working at community in the face of physical separation. This requires both a call by the shepherd (represented by the church) and a response by the sheep.
May 10 Fifth Sunday of Easter; Mother’s Day: Festival of the Christian Home
We celebrate the place of faithful mothers in raising us in the knowledge of Christ’s love
“You Will Do Great Things!”
I Peter 2: 9-10; John 14: 1-14
The Apostles sometimes find Jesus very confusing. Despite that Jesus says they will do great things! When we are confused by Jesus and what he expects, we remember his promise that we will still “do great things.”
May 17 Sixth Sunday of Easter
“Groping in the Dark”
Acts 17: 22-31; I Peter 3: 13-17
The Apostle Paul sees the people of Athens, in their city full of idols to various gods, as groping in the dark after spiritual truth. He preaches a sermon in a great example of culturally relevant evangelism. Are we not also often “groping in the dark” after God. If Paul could see this with compassion, surely Christ sees our groping search for truth in a similar way.
May 24 Ascension Sunday
We celebrate Christ’s ascension to rejoin the Father and the freedom, trust and challenge he gives us to continue his ministry
We remember those who have died in our nation’s wars
“Thank God We Are Not in Charge!”
Acts 1: 1-14; Luke 24: 44-53
Jesus’ followers seem a little disoriented when he leaves them a second time. We may be disoriented as disciples at time but God is in charge, so we need not worry.
May 31 Pentecost: Festival of the Holy Spirit
We celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church
Easter Cantata (11 AM): “Once Upon a Morning”
“The Winds of Change”
Acts 2: 1-21
When Pentecost comes there is a sound like a mighty rush of wind and other strange perceptions. Maybe strangest of all, however, is the development of a motley band of followers into the fledgling church which grows by leaps and bounds! Great changes are afoot! Great changes are coming to our society as well. Will we ride the wind of God’s change or try to resist it?