God is a cheerful giver

Peace Church, Pentecost Art by Marni Maree

Today the Word of God has been heard. It is the same Word that, over history, in many human languages, the Holy Spirit has used to close out the Festival Half of the Church Year. Today’s Pentecost Feast brings to a fitting end the parts of the calendar that give to us the celebrations of the five Great Feasts of the Ancient Church….
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Jesus’ Word keeps His disciples from being triggered

The Wind of the Holy Spirit by Cheri Dawson-Givens

Jesus’ words concerning all He had spoken have set the theme for this day. His purpose in revealing all He did—through dark sayings as well as in clear teaching—was to help keep His followers from stumbling into sin, misbelief and unbelief. His proclamation that we heard today serves to provide a fitting summary for the teachings contained in the Gospel readings chosen long ago for the 50 days of the Resurrection Season.

Where’s the fanfare?

The Ascension by Giotto di Bondone

Our text for this evening’s meditation comes from the Gospel reading you heard just moments ago these words:
“And it came to pass in His blessing of them, he was separated from them and was carried up into heaven.”

Is that it? There has got to be more written about the Ascension of our Lord than that, right? Besides Luke, only one other Gospel writer records the Ascension, that being Mark. Perhaps Mark has more to say about it, because frankly, I was expecting a bit more fanfare out of something so glorious as the Ascension. …For more, click on the title above.

Truly, truly I say to you…

Prayer Procession for Rain in Germany by Johann Nepomuk Schonberg

Truly, truly, I say to all of you, “Whatsoever you all may ask the Father, He will give to all of you in My Name.”
With apostolic words like those, you are called to remember that, during each sermon, Jesus still wills to speak to you through the words of the men whom He, through His Church, has placed into the Office of the Holy Ministry. That sermonic blessing, and others like it that are drawn directly from the Epistles—the inspired Apostolic Letters in the New Testament—reminds the hearers of the Word for the day that the Holy Spirit still wills to point them, you, to Jesus during every Lord’s Service to His people.

Sing for joy

Shout for Joy by Karen Beasley

Directors use music to affect our emotions. They want to draw us into the film. They want to manipulate how we feel as the plot thickens.
In the Church we don’t want—or need—to be manipulated that way. We want to sing to the Lord because of His righteousness and the satisfaction that Christ has made for us through His suffering, death and resurrection. We want to recall His marvelous deeds. We want to give thanks and praise for what He has done….For more, click on the title above.

Reasons for rejoicing

Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord by Lillian Delevoryas

The seven-week Resurrection season was given to the Church long ago. That was done that we might hear, every year, the glorious reasons we have for rejoicing,,,,For more, click on the title above.

Three special years following our beautiful Shepherd

Good Shepherd by Cláudio Pastro

On this Sunday long ago named, Misericordias Domini, “Of the mercy of the Lord,” (which is how the Latin version of the Introit may be translated) God has gathered us to behold the mercy He has continued to give us out of His Word and Sacraments. Today, we in God’s fold in this location are blessed to celebrate three special years of following our Beautiful Shepherd… For more, click on the title above.