111: Easter 3B (April 19, 2015)


For Sunday April 19, Easter 3B.

image: Early third century depiction of eucharistic bread and fish, Catacomb of San CallistoRome.

SHOW NOTES -  4/19/2015
Welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, the lectionary podcast for preachers, seekers and Bible geeks. This is episode 111 for Sunday April 19, Easter 3B.

Introduction and Check-in  

  • EASTER!! and now - nap time!
  • 50 miles in 50 days!

Quickfire Scripture:  Acts 3:12-19 Peter preaches about repentance

  • Lectionary bounces through Acts, tiptoeing so as not to upset the Pentecost experience that is coming.
  • Last week was about the community of Acts 4:32-35
  • Next week goes to another Peter speech about Jesus.
  • This passage is the middle of a scene in which Peter and John heal a man crippled since birth. Peter is speaking to the people who gathered after seeing Peter heal the man.
  • They have a captive audience because of this healing, and Peter first calls them out for crucifying Jesus. He connects themselves to the risen Christ, who is connected to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who is connected to the eternal God. This God is the source of their power. He tells them that the power to heal the man was the same power that raised Jesus.
  • “His name itself has made this man strong,” Peter proclaims.
  • Eternal God → Jesus of Nazareth → Resurrection → Transformation here and now.

Featured Musician -  Christopher Grundy, “Fisherman’s Daughter,” from his album Here in Providence

Primary Scripture  -  Luke 24:36-48 Resurrection fish
Initial Thoughts

  • Earliest Christian art in the catacombs of Rome show meals of bread and fish, not bread and cup -  makes for a messy (and smelly) communion

Bible Study

  • 5th of 6 post resurrection stories in Luke 24 (Feasting on the Word, Year B, vol. 2)
    • Women and two "men" at the tomb (vv. 1-8)
    • The women's announcement to the eleven (vv. 9-11)
    • Peter's verification of the empty tomb (v. 12)
    • The road to Emmaus (vv. 13-32)
    • Gathering in Jerusalem (vv. 33-39)
    • Jesus and his followers in Bethany (vv. 50-53)
  • Right after Emmaus- very similar
    • Reveals himself
    • Eats
    • Teaches
    • Send Out
  • Post-resurrection Eucharistic meal?
    • John 21 and Luke 24- Emmaus?
    • Unlike Emmaus- the Eucharistic verbs are not used, nor is the meal shared
    • Perhaps not a Eucharistic meal, but proof of bodily resurrection because ghosts can’t eat food
  • Body, Spirit and Resurrection
    • The bodily resurrection was very important for both the early church (2 John 7, Origen, On First Principles, trans. G. W. Butterworth, slightly altered (Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1973), 5.) and modern Christians (one of the 5 fundamentals which define “Fundamentalism”)
    • Does the bodily resurrection matter to daily life today?
  • Four fold movement with response:
    • Jesus is revealed - fear
      • Fear is a part of life, despite being told 365 times in scripture not to fear - we do. The problem is not fear in and of itself, but we cannot let fear control us
      • The disciples are being controlled by fear - not going out to proclaim but gathering together
    • Jesus speaks, eats, invites them to challenge their fears and touch him - joy
      • Jesus breaks their fear by meeting them where they are, not through rebuke
    • Jesus teaches - minds are opened
      • Teaching comes after revelation and fellowship
      • See Jesus revealed, experience Jesus- then learn more - this is opposite of most of our churches which require new member classes, Sunday School and confirmation before one can truly experience full membership in the body of Christ (ok that is a little harsh, but you get what I am saying)
    • Jesus commands- up to you
      • As in many of the post-resurrection stories there is a “sending out”
      • Proclaim: Repentance, forgiveness of sins to all people
      • What does it mean to proclaim something in Jesus’ name (v.47)?
        • Does it mean to do it in the spirit of that person? That person’s name gives authority to what is being proclaimed.
        • Does not seem to mean- you must believe in this certain doctrine or the proclamation is not true

Sermon Thoughts and Questions:

  • Does the bodily resurrection matter? John Crossan doesn’t think so (See John Dominic Crossan. Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, Harper One, 2009.)
  • Jesus understands the disciples fear and concern. He meets them there and invites them to move through their fear by touching, tasting and seeing. How might we also meet people in their anxiety and invite them through it?
    • When we encounter fear and skepticism- how we respond? With “peace”?
  • What does it mean to proclaim something in Jesus’ name (v.47)?

Psalm Nugget with Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com- Psalm 4

Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-7 Sin and righteousness
Initial Thoughts

  • Opening words from the United Methodist Book of Worship liturgy for a Service of Death and Resurrection, p. 141.
  • No surprise that these words would be used as words of hope in a time of mourning, but in a way, using this reading at a funeral misses the point.
  • 1 John is a “letter” about living in a community with Christ. It is very much rooted in this world, and how to live and act as followers of Christ.

Bible Study

  • Love and Light
    • These are the twin themes of 1 John that matter the most. God is light and God is love.
    • God is light, so we should remain in the light.
      • Remain in the truthful teaching of this particular community.
      • Other communities are focused on the wrong thing, and deny that Jesus is the Christ.
    • God is love, so we should love one another.
      • Remain in relationship with Jesus by loving each other as Jesus loved.
      • Remain in love, so that when he comes, you can be sure of his love.
    • Remaining in the light is of utmost importance, and the way to do that is to love one another.
  • God’s children.
    • Those who recognize that Jesus is the Christ are called children of God. Those that don’t recognize that are in darkness.
      • Author has little room for gray area - same as Gospel of John. Many dichotomies can be troubling, but also demand response.
    • Avoid deception (stay in the light) by being righteous
    • Right understanding of the nature of Jesus leads to right relationship with God, leads to right relationship with each other.
    • Being a child of God means that you will live a particular way - the way of love.
    • Sin is acting out of motivation that is not of love.
    • “Christian Perfection,” is not about being mistake-free. It is about allowing the love of God to be the motivating factor in all you do.
  • Be sinless.
    • 1 John 3:6 “Every person who remains in relationship to him does not sin. Any person who sins has not seen him or known him”
    • Seems to be a direct contradiction to 1 John 1:8 “If we claim, ‘We don’t have any sin,’ we deceived ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
    • So, are we deceived if we claim to be without sin, or are those who abide in Christ sinless?
      • Tense suggests a habit of sinning. So is it okay to just sin at random times?
      • Some suggest while we are with Christ, it is impossible to sin, but we step out of relationship when we sin. So are we constantly stepping in and out of relationship like a bad boyfriend?
      • “There is a genuine tension, both within the text of 1 John and within the experience of the church, regarding the reality of sin on the one hand, and life as God's children on the other.  What is clear is that the author will allow neither self-delusions of sinlessness nor a casual acceptance of sin within the lives of God's children.” (Brian Peterson, from Working Preacher)

Sermon Thoughts and Questions:

  • The grounding of who we are is in God’s love as revealed through Jesus. Everything we do as a Church and as Christians, must be read through the lens of the love of the Father. This is the only ground on which we can stand. Righteousness then, is living as a reflection of that love.
  • What exactly that will look like is still not known. It has been revealed to us. We have a glimpse of what it is to live in perfect love. That glimpse is Jesus Christ. We are called to do the same, but it has not been fully revealed. As people following Christ though, we are called to live it out as much as possible. We are called to be pure as Christ is pure. We are called to love as Christ loved, to forgive as Christ forgave, to invite as Christ invited. When we cease loving, we are no longer following Christ. 

Tasty Wafer of the Week:

TY listeners
Shout Outs:

  • Great comment on the Holy Week Roundtable from Amanda:
    • I've been listening to pulpit fiction for a few weeks now and have really enjoyed it. I'm a Mennonite--and we tend to be far less liturgical than either of you folks so I've been really interested to hear some of the ways liturgy and the church year impact your ministries and churches. I'm listening to the holy week round table now and just wanted to add a few comments about foot washing--which has tended to be a very important piece in many Mennonite churches. I was pretty disappointed to hear each guest on the round table basically say, "feet are gross, so we don't do that." (and VERY appalled at the idea that "boundary issues" would stop you from doing this thing that Jesus said to do.) Many people said, "it's not about the feet." Which I agree with--to a point. It's about service, it's about love, and it's also about doing this thing that is gross, and icky and really, shocking or different. It is certainly an intimate act--it is definitely often uncomfortable--and it is a ritual--but it can also be really, really beautiful. We separate men and women and do it in sanctuary during the service. It's not a production or a show--but it's an act that reminds each of us to be humble and to serve one another and that we are each walking together, even through "gross" things. To me it's a pretty important piece of Maundy Thursday (and I don't understand how one could preach on it without ever trying it!) and it's something we do at other times throughout the year as well. I guess I would encourage people to try it. I think it dilutes Jesus' radical ministry and love to suggest that we don't need to do the things Jesus did because they are "icky"--discipleship is icky! discipleship is embodied! discipleship is dirty!
  • David Lick:
    • Hey guys...I haven't checked out the podcast in a LOT of weeks; for that, I apologize. But I DID take some advice of yours at the beginning of Lent. My whole first 5 weeks of Lent were spent in a series on Covenant in the OT. (I DID change that one weird looking-up-at-the-snake-pole reading to 2 Sam 8 and the Covenant with David, but I think that was a good substitution!) Anyway, I haven't had the chance to check in because once I decided to DO the series, it wrote itself to the extent that I was only using written resources for sermon prep, and not you guys. :( Then we get to Palm Sunday and Holy Week, and I haven't had the time to spend on podcast-listening, but Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for the idea of looking ahead a few weeks and doing a series that was STILL lectionary-based. Thanks, and have a happy season of Easter!
  • @RMWhaley “Mark’s Easter as Choose Your Own Adventure Resurrection. Thanks for that @pulpitfpodcast.”
  • @BetsyTurner “I liked that too! I’m thinking of using the multiple endings of the movie Clue as an example.”

Featured Musician -Christopher Grundy, “Fisherman’s Daughter,” from his album Here in Providence

Thanks to our Psalms correspondent, Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com, @pomopsalmist). Thank you to Scott Fletcher for our voice bumpers, Dick Dale and the Del Tones for our Theme music (“Misirlou”), Nicolai Heidlas (“Summertime”) and The Steel Wheels for our transition music(“Nola’s First Dance” from their album Lay Down, Lay Low) and Paul and Storm for our closing music (“Oh No”).