161: Easter 2C (April 3, 2016)


161: Easter 2C (April 3, 2016)

Voice in the Wilderness: Anita Ford - Acts 5:27-32 Peter confronted.

Featured Musician - Christopher Grundy, “Peace Be with You” from his album Stepping In.


Episode 161 Easter 2C - (April 3, 2016)

Hello and welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, the lectionary podcast for preachers, seekers and Bible geeks. This is episode 161 for Sunday April 3, 2016. The second Sunday of Easter,  Year C.

Introduction and Check-in  

  • Now What? The post Easter excitement or the slow decline to summer?
  • Associate Pastor Sunday!!

Voice in the Wilderness: Anita Ford - Acts 5:27-32 Peter confronted.

Featured Musician - Christopher Grundy, “Peace Be with You” from his album Stepping In.

DONATE: www.pulpitfiction.us/donate

Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31 Jesus appears to disciples
Initial Thoughts

  • Picks up right from last week. “Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.

    • “Don’t hold to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (v. 17)
    • Probably the original ending of John’s gospel, but there is no manuscript evidence that it ever existed without ch 21.
  • Next week picks up from the end of this passage John 21:1-19 Miraculous catch.

Bible Study

  • Every Sunday is Easter. This Sunday is literally still Easter: “It was still the first day of the week.”

    • In the evening, disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid.
    • Jesus appears. No mention of the doors being opened.
    • “Peace be with you.”

      • Twice Jesus appears to disciples who are afraid. Twice his first words are “Peace be with you.”
      • When we pass the peace with one another in worship, are we quieting each other’s fears, or is it just a nice greeting?
    • Peace comes along with sending.

      • There are no real details about what he is sending them to, only the parallel that they are sent by him as Jesus was sent by God.
    • Shows them hands and side.

      • They don’t ask to see it, but he shows them anyway.
      • The wounds and scars are still there.
      • Resurrection doesn’t erase the pain of crucifixion.
    • They have no particular reaction.

      • No confession by any disciples at seeing Jesus.
    • Breaths on them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

      • No response by disciples at receiving H.S.
      • There is no Pentecost story in John. The disciples receive the Holy Spirit on Easter - no delay.
      • What do they do with the Holy Spirit? Forgive - or don’t forgive.
      • Forgiveness is a foundation of this community. That is the only thing they are directly told to do.
  • Thomas shows up.

    • Where was he?
    • Thomas: “Unless I see the nails marks in his hands… I won’t believe”
    • Disciples didn’t believe the women until they saw. Thomas doesn’t believe the disciples unless he sees
  • Eight days later they are still locked in a house

    • If they had seen the risen Lord, and been given the Holy Spirit, shouldn’t the be doing something other than chilling in a locked room for a week?
    • What have they been doing?
    • Jesus appears even though the room is locked.
    • “Peace be with you,” again is the greeting.
    • Thomas does not ask Jesus to see the wounds. Jesus simply offers - in the same way he offered the disciples.

      • History has labeled Thomas the doubter even though he really showed no more doubt than the others.
      • If anything, he doubted the disciples, but they were locked in a room 8 days later.
      • He is actually the only one in this passage to respond in any meaningful way to Christ’s presence.

Sermon Thoughts and Questions:

  • What did the disciples do for eight days after they “received the Holy Spirit,” and were still locked in the room? The disciples are passive in these stories. They have no real response. Except for Thomas who declares “My Lord and my God.” He is the only one who makes this stark confession to Jesus’s resurrection.
  • This passage is more about the readers - the Johannine community - than it is about the disciples themselves. To a group that is beginning to face scrutiny and persecution, it is a word of encouragement for those who believe though they had not seen.

    • “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and believe.” This is clearly an exhortation to the community receiving the gospel. The good news is that you need not have seen Jesus to believe. The offering to see and believe is made to all. The question is, “What have you seen?” The gospel closes (kind of) with the words, “believing, you will have life in his name.” What does it mean to have life in Jesus name? Is it purely about afterlife? Is following Jesus just about believing so that you can get to heaven? Or does life in Jesus name mean something more?

Psalm Nugget: Psalm 150 with Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com, @pomopsalmist)

Second Reading: Revelation 1:4-8 The one coming on a cloud.
Initial Thoughts

Bible Study

  • John of Patmos

    • Most likely not the same as the Gospel writer

      • Greek is very different
      • Theology is very different- especially Christology

        • John- Jesus = the Divine Word
        • Rev. - Jesus = first born of the dead, but is subjugated to God
        • Rev. - Jesus is the inheritor of God, the successor, but not equal
  • The return of Jesus- coming in clouds

    • Jesus will return in the same way he departed
    • Daniel 7:13 -  As I continued to watch this night vision of mine, I suddenly saw one like a human being coming with the heavenly clouds. He came to the ancient one and was presented before him.
    • Zechariah 12:10 - but I will pour out a spirit of grace and mercy on David's house and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They will look to me concerning the one whom they pierced; they will mourn over him like the mourning for an only child. They will mourn bitterly over him like the bitter mourning over the death of an oldest child.
    • Wailing - despair, judgment in the face of the change that Jesus will bring

      • What will Jesus bring? Love, sight to the blind, good news to the poor, freedom for the captive, liberation for the oppressed
      • Stanley Saunders, “The coming of Jesus is certain, visible, decisive, and world changing.” Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary - Feasting on the Word – Year C, Volume 2: Lent through Eastertide.
  • The Seven Churches of Asia Minor

    • Named later in chapter 2
    • Perhaps representative of all the churches in Asia minor
    • Declaration that God’s authority (not Rome’s) is ultimate - throne of God, Alpha and Omega, etc
  • God - the one who is and who was and who is to come - echoes Exodus 3:14

    • God of salvation and liberation
    • Also not a one-and-done event
    • God continues to lead God’s people and call them back to faithfulness for generations
  • The work of Easter is not done yet

    • Interpreting the past, present and future in light of Easter

      • Christ has died- Christ is risen- Christ will come again
    • Easter is not a one-and-done kind of event, but part of a continual unfolding of God’s redemptive work bringing all of Creation into the Kingdom of Justice and Peace
    • God is the first and the last- and the last hasn’t come yet
    • God has done this, God is doing this, God will do this
  • “Eastertide is not the eschaton, and the meaning of Easter is not the elimination of suffering.” - Lauren Winner Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary - Feasting on the Word – Year C, Volume 2: Lent through Eastertide.

Sermon Thoughts and Questions

  • What is the ongoing work of Easter (redemption, triumph of life over death,e tc) in your congregation?
  • Explore with your church what God is and will do. What Does proclaiming God as Alpha and Omega say about the political season? Fear and anxiety? About pride?
  • Easter is not the end, but the beginning - how does the church live into Easter?

    • If Jesus’ resurrection and second coming are “visible, decisive, and world changing” then how is that embodied in the church?
  • Proclaim Eastertide! Easter is not only one day, but every Sunday!

Every day is Easter

  • When Thomas touched the wounds
  • and set himself free
  • it was Easter day
  • When Peter’s three “yes’s” to Jesus
  • finished his three denials
  • it was Easter day
  • When Mary ready to embalm the dead
  • ran in fear from the empty tomb
  • it was Easter day
  • When the disciples looked from afar
  • at a breakfast of fish on the beach
  • it was Easter day
  • When Emmaus became synonymous with welcome
  • and the breaking of bread with strangers
  • it was Easter day
  • When Paul was blinded by the light
  • and recognised the voice niggling in his head
  • it was Easter day
  • When the hungry are fed at the table
  • the same table as the rich
  • it is Easter day
  • When weapons are beaten to ploughshares
  • and peace is a word to be shouted
  • it is Easter day
  • When the stranger is welcomed in community
  • and the lonely are restored to relationship
  • it is Easter day...

Tasty Wafer of the Week:

  • Thirty Seconds or Less. Short (obviously) videos about Bible passages, themes, or book summaries. You will recognize some of the creators like Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Sarah Bessey, Otis Moss III, but most are not well-known. They are voiced by the authors, but also include a video portion of images that bring the message to life.

Rachael Puttbrese @RachaelPutt89 “@PulpitFPodcast Found u from @WartburgSem classmate. Sermon prep is enhanced & a much needed connection for a rural pastor! Thank you!
Sue Corley @pscorley “One of my fav podcasts, @pulpitfpodcast, gave me this new fav song oh no!”
Otis Moss III @om3 RT “Preachers, go buy @om3’s Blue Note Preaching now. Read it ASAP. Then join us in the conversation in a few weeks. Seriously, go do it.”

Featured Musician - Christopher Grundy, “Peace Be with You” from his album Stepping In.

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 (“Sunday Morning”, "Real Ride" and “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”).