Sunday, May 12, 2013

Blogging toward Sunday

Image via Wikimedia Commons

We celebrate Pentecost on Sunday, May 19th. In preparation, read John 14:8-17 and Acts 2:1-21. Then spend some time meditating on these questions:
  1. What does it mean to you that on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came to reside within all believers?
  2. In what way did some doubters explain the extraordinary behavior of Jesus' followers?
  3. How do you see the Holy Spirit at work in our church today?
  4. How do you see the Holy Spirit at work in your own life?
May the following "Blessing for Pentecost," written by Joyce Rupp encourage you on your journey toward Sunday.

May the enthusiasm of Spirit leap incessantly within you and help you to live a vibrant life.
May the warmth of Spirit's fire be extended through your concern and care for all those who need your love.
May the blaze of Spirit's courage enable you to speak the truth and to stand up for respect, dignity, and justice.
May the undying embers of Spirit's faithfulness support you when you feel spiritually dry and empty.
May the strength of Spirit's love sustain your hope as you enter into the pain of our world.
May the clear light of Spirit's guidance be a source of effective discernment and decision-making for you.
May Spirit's patient endurance be yours while you wait for what is unknown to be revealed.
May the steady flame of Spirit's goodness within you convince you every day of the power of your presence with others.
May the joyful fire of Spirit dance within you and set happiness ablaze in your life.
May the spark of your relationship with Spirit catch afire in the hearts of those with whom you live and work.
May you be mindful of the Eternal Flame within you. May you rely on this Source of Love to be your constant ally and steady guide.

As always, I look forward to worshiping you with you Sunday. This week I especially look forward to our wondrous celebration of Pentecost.



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blogging toward Sunday

The texts for Sunday, May 12, 2013 include John 17:20-26 and Acts 16:16-34. Prayerfully read each passage at least two times.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus concludes his High Priestly Prayer. What do you notice about this prayer? For whom is Jesus praying? For what?

Now turn to the reading from Acts. Herein, we get a glimpse of what the new kingdom of God will look like. It will be a place where people are free--free from physical slavery as well as spiritual slavery. What else do you learn from this passage?

I invite you to spend some time reflecting on the following writing by Hans Kung found in his book, On Being a Christian:

What kind of kingdom will this be?
What kind of kingdom will this be?
It will be a kingdom where, in accordance with Jesus' prayer, God's name is truly hallowed, his will is done on earth, human beings will have everything in abundance, all sins will be forgiven and all evil overcome.

It will be a kingdom where, in accordance with Jesus' promises, the poor, the hungry, those who weep and those who are downtrodden will finally come into their own; where pain, suffering and death will have an end.

It will be a kingdom that cannot be described, but only made known in metaphors: as the new covenant, the seed springing up, the ripe harvest, the great banquet, the royal feast.

It will therefore be a kingdom--wholly as the prophets foretold--of absolute righteousness, of unsurpassable freedom, of dauntless love, of universal reconciliation, of everlasting peace. In this sense therefore it will be the time of salvation, of fulfillment, of consummation, of God's presence: the absolute future.
May the Lord bless you on your journey toward Sunday.