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Seventh Sunday of Easter, Cycle A

The theme of “Power and Glory” permeates these readings, as is appropriate for this Sunday after the Ascension. In Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35 the Lord God is said to be able to bring rain in abundance, to cause the mountain at Sinai to tremble, to destroy the wicked, and yet to be the gentle protector of orphans and widows. In Acts 1:6-14 it is said that the eleven disciples will receive power when the Holy Spirit of God has come to them. According to the 1 Peter 4:12-14 and 5:6-11 selections the God of all grace, whose glory is revealed in the Christ and in the Spirit of God, has called those to whom 1 Peter is addressed into God’s eternal glory in Jesus Christ…

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Sixth Sunday of Easter, Cycle A

Perhaps the most usable theme that is present in all of these texts selected for us for the Sixth Sunday of Easter in Series A is expressed in Psalm 66:16: “Come and hear, and I will tell you what God has done for me!” There is personal testimony in each of these texts, and there should be personal testimony in the message that we proclaim on Easter 6.

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Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cycle A

The selection for this Fifth Sunday of Easter begins the transition from Easter to Ascension and Pentecost activities, or perhaps, in Fourth Gospel terminology, we should say to Jesus’ absence and anticipated return. With Gospel texts selected from the Gospel According to John and According to Luke, supported by texts from Acts of Apostles and 1 Peter, we have not had a Gospel selection from the Gospel According to Matthew in this Series A year of Matthew since Easter Day itself, and we will not have a Matthean Gospel account again until Trinity Sunday, still four weeks away.

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Fourth Sunday of Easter, Cycle A

The beautiful Easter theme of “The Lord is Our Shepherd,” alluded to in the John 10:1-10 analogies and expressed so well in Psalm 23 and 1 Peter 2:19-25, is not mentioned in Acts 2:42-47. All or a portion of Ezekiel 37:15-28 would fit the theme of “The Lord is Our Shepherd” exceedingly well. If a Newer Testament selection for the First Reading is desired on this Good Shepherd Sunday, far better than Acts 2:42-47 would be Hebrews 13:20-21

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Third Sunday of Easter, Cycle A

Within the three Newer Testament texts designated for the Third Sunday of Easter in Series A the message that God raised Jesus from the dead continues to be proclaimed in a variety of ways. In the Psalm 116 reading there is, of course, no proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus. There is, however, a strong affirmation of life as a gift from the Lord.

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    Mary Austin
    Do I Have to Invite Jesus Over for Thanksgiving?
    Matthew 10:24-39; Genesis 21:8-21

    Daytime talk shows, podcasts, and reality TV shows remind us every day that family drama is common, even normal. Advice columns are full of questions about where to place our loyalty. What are our obligations to in-laws, stepchildren, and extended family? What about the troublesome family? The abusive family? None of these questions would have made any sense in Jesus’ day, where loyalty to family was a sacred obligation and duty to family was clear. Family strife may have been normal, but there was no option to check out of the family and find a new one.
         The question of who belongs comes at us constantly, in a world where we can select our own tribe. We can choose to live near people who share our economic status, work with people who share our values, and vacation with people who love the same places. We can eat with people who follow the same eating plan, and shop with people who share our taste. At the ballgame, we sit with people who have the same loyalties. Our news comes slanted to our particular taste.
         But Jesus pokes his way into our cocoon, raising the question of who belongs in a wider family of faith; and Abraham and Sarah, believing they’re following God’s plan, make a choice to exclude rather than include. So who belongs? Who gets to come over for a family dinner?...more
    Proper 7 | OT 12
    The Gospel assigned for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost comes out of the heart of Matthew 10. Last week's text brought us through Chapter 10:23. In the optional verses from 10:9-23 we heard Jesus give additional words of instruction for the disciples as they are set to carry out their mission to Israel. In 10:16-23 there begins a section of Jesus' call and commissioning that portends a mission that will be very difficult....more
    Mark Ellingsen
    Living in Jesus can ease our anxieties
    In accord with the overall theme of the Pentecost season, all the texts for this Sunday pertain to living the Christian life (sanctification), specifically with how Christian life is easy, for it is not our work but the result of God’s grace....more
    C. David McKirachan
    Going Native
    Matthew 10:24-39
    A few years ago, when I’d been in my then church about 10 years, I took a continuing education course called Renewal in the Long Pastorate. Walter Wink and Roy Oswald came at the attendees from both directions, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. To get in you had to be in your present parish at least eight years....more
    Janice Scott
    Gotcha!
    Steven couldn't believe his luck. He'd been slouching around the shopping centre with his hands in his pockets feeling miserable because he had no money. There was a new computer game he was desperate to buy, because all his friends had it and were raving about it. Steven had been wandering around the shop gazing longingly at the game, but he had no means to buy one....more
    Arley K. Fadness
    No Fear
    Object: Football or bicycle helmet

    Have I got something to show you today! But first I have a question.
    Are there things that make you afraid?  (children answer)
    Are you afraid of the dark? Are you afraid of thunder?
    Are you afraid of getting sick or hurt in sports?...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

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