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Proper 4 | Ordinary Time 9 | Pentecost 2 (Cycle C)

Sunday between May 29 and June 4 inclusive (if after Trinity Sunday)

In each of the texts selected here for this occasion, there is some indication that the Lord (Adonai in the Older Testament texts and God the Father and Jesus as the Christ in the Newer Testament texts) is God for all people. This will, therefore, be a message that we shall want to share through our use of these texts.

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Day of Pentecost, Cycle C

Two lunar months after they reenacted the Passover meal each year, many of the ancient Israelites brought some of the first fruits and vegetables of the spring season as an offering to the Lord and to their priests as they celebrated together their spring religious and social agricultural festival. When the Torah became the unifying factor of those who survived the fall of Jerusalem and the loss of their nation, this agricultural festival, the Feast of Weeks, seven weeks after the Passover, gained additional meaning as a commemoration of the giving of the Torah to Moses by Adonai at Sinai. For Greek-speaking Israelites still later, this festival was called Pentecost because it was celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover.

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Seventh Sunday of Easter, Cycle C

As is appropriate for this Seventh Sunday of Easter, the Sunday after the Ascension of the Lord, the emphasis within these texts is on the exaltation of the Lord. In Psalm 97 it is the Lord (Adonai) who is exalted. The exalted Lord Jesus and the Most High God are said to have removed the spirit of divination from the slave girl in the Acts 16:16-34 account and opened the gates of the Roman prison. In the Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21 text it is said that the exalted Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, will be coming soon to judge everyone and to give the water of life to those who are thirsty. In the final portion of the prayer of the Johannine Jesus in John 17:20-26 the members of the Johannine community and those who will believe in the exalted Johannine Jesus through their word are said to be one with the Johannine Jesus in the glory that the Father has given to the Johannine Jesus.

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Ascension Of The Lord (Cycle A, B, C)

The Ascension of the Lord texts in Luke-Acts (Luke 24:44-53 and Acts 1:1-11) accomplish four major objectives. First, they provide an explanation of where the Risen Christ is now. Second, they provide an explanation of why the Risen Christ was seen by many followers of Jesus during the first few weeks after his crucifixion and resurrection but is being seen in the same way no longer. Third, they provide assurance that the Risen Christ is still with us spiritually and that the Risen Christ will return. Finally, they establish more clearly the responsibilities of the followers of Jesus to be witnesses of the Risen Christ throughout the world.

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Sixth Sunday of Easter, Cycle C

The emphasis in these texts selected for the Sixth Sunday of Easter this year is clearly on “good things” and on the belief that all good things come from God, as the Prayer of the Day specifies: “Bountiful God, you gather your people into your realm, and you promise us food from your tree of life. Nourish us with your word, that empowered by your Spirit we may love one another and the world you have made, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”

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    Earth Day... Charged with Grandeur: Sermons and Practices for Delighting in God's Creation

    Dean Feldmeyer
    Meeting Jesus Again
    Luke 24:13-35

    Last month the Barna Research Group released some more of their findings about why people, especially those in the millennial generation, aren’t going to church. Basically, it can be boiled down into two assertions:
    1. I’m not meeting God at church; and
    2. The church isn’t making the world a better place.
         In other words, from their perspective the Christian church, in all of its modern
    permutations, is not keeping the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40), nor is it living out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
         Of course, Barna says, this is not news. It has been happening for decades. It’s just being felt more now because the numbers are greater.
         People come to church to meet Jesus, up close and personal, face to face. They want and expect not just to hear about Jesus but to have an encounter with the Living Christ. They are hungry for that encounter; they need it to give their lives meaning, direction, depth, and authenticity. And they want to be part of something that is actually improving their lives and the lives of generations to come.
         Like those two disciples walking to Emmaus on that first Easter afternoon, they are at loose ends and looking for direction -- and they are asking us to help them find it through Jesus Christ....more
    My Laughin' Place
    There's an old Uncle Remus story about Br'er Rabbit. Br'er Fox catches Br'er Rabbit and is fixin' to cook him for supper. Rabbit kinda giggles behind his hand. Fox grabs him by the ear, and says, "Why you laughin'?"
         Rabbit says, "Jus' thinkin' 'bout my Laughin' Place." Fox says, "What Laughin' Place?" Rabbit says, "Oh, I cain't tell you about it. I got to show you!"
         So ol' Br'er Fox fergits about cooking and takes Br'er Rabbit to where he says. Of course, they come to a briar patch and Br'er Rabbit slips away from his captor. A very angry Br'er Fox hollers at Rabbit from across the briar patch: "I ain't laughin'! I thought you said this was a Laughin' Place?"...more
    Sandra Herrmann
    Redemption in Christ
    Many years ago, I was invited to the home of a parish family for Easter dinner. It was a big family, and some of us were standing around the edges of the dining room, waiting for the fragrant aromas to turn into something to eat. It’s always tricky for a woman pastor too. Should I be helping in the kitchen? No. I was the pastor. Still, the offer was greeted with smiles. The grandfather of the clan walked over to me and said, “Pastor, I have a question about your sermon this morning. What’s your definition of a Christian?”....more
    Peter Andrew Smith
    Burning Hearts

    Luke 24:13-35

    Heather lined the basketball up with the net. She took a deep breath and made her shot. The ball was high and missed. She tried again. This time the ball hit the backboard and went toward the corner. Heather sighed and let the ball bounce away. This is useless. I can’t make a basket no matter how much I try. She made her way over to the bench in the empty community center gymnasium and slumped down....more
    Janice Scott
    Strangers or neighbours?
    A week or two ago I received an unexpected registered package through the post. It was a manuscript and turned out to be the memoirs of an elderly relative, Mary, who was a cousin of my mother's, and who had died a couple of years previously. She had lived miles away and I'd never met her, although we had corresponded occasionally and spoken on the phone once or twice. ...more

Authors of
Lectionary Scripture Notes
Norman A. Beck is the Poehlmann Professor of Theology and Classical Languages and the Chairman of the Department of Theology, Philosophy, and Classical Languages at Texas Lutheran University
Dr. Norman A. Beck
Mark Ellingsen is professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. Mark Ellingsen