Texts: Isaiah 65:1-9; Galatians 3:23-29; Luke 8:26-39
The first sign that anything unusual had happened was the cry of the swineherds running by shouting, “The pigs! The pigs! What? The pigs all drowned!” And from there the story unfolded. It was about that crazy demon-infested man who lived in the tombs and wore no clothes, and a visiting Jewish teacher who sent the demons into the pigs. What a crazy day!
Texts: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15
Imagine for a few moments that you are at a party. It’s a summer party on a warm evening with many guests: a diverse crowd spread out in a generous space. There are people in the garden, people by the pool, a few others standing near a well-laid table, precariously balancing laden plates and cups. Everyone seems engaged in earnest discussion and as you make your way further into the party snatches of conversation reach your ears.
Texts: Acts 16:16-34; Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21; John 17:20-26
It’s all fun and games until someone has to wear an eyepatch.
I saw that on a t-shirt recently.
Texts: Acts 16:9-15; Revelation 21:10 & 22 - 22:5 John 14:23-29
Back when it all began, Memorial Day was not yet called Memorial Day. It was called Decoration Day. This holiday is generally thought to have begun on the first anniversary of the end of the Civil War, when people decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers, wreaths, and bows of bunting as an expression of anguish, grief, and loss.
Texts: Acts 9:36-43; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30
Jesus is walking in the Temple portico in winter, around the time of a religious festival that today is called Hanukah. He is approached by Temple officials for an identity check. Are you the Messiah or not? The question wasn’t friendly. They wanted to kill Jesus; they only needed to catch him calling himself God’s Son.
Texts: Acts 9:1-6 [7-20]; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19
We’ve got some very detailed stories from the bible today. Way too much to begin with a story or illustration that brings together all the loose ends and ends on a clever note. No, today it’s best to get right into things. Hang on, this will be a ride!
Texts: Acts 5:27-32; Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31
Many years ago I gathered the children on Easter Sunday to talk with them about Jesus and his resurrection. Leave it to adults to come up with a word like resurrection. As if we really know what it means anyway. And how are you going to make sense of that with children?
Texts: Acts 10:34-43; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26; Luke 24:1-12
A body in motion tends to stay in motion. That’s a rule of physics. But when a body stops being in motion, well, other rules apply. Chief among those rules is that a body that has ceased to be in motion will require an infusion of energy to be in motion again. You know how that is. Gravity is such a curse when you’ve been weeding the garden and need to rise from your task.
Texts: Luke 19:28-40; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11
A long time ago I was a young tour bus driver in Alaska. Nearly all of us were college students from the Pacific Northwest working summers to pay for school. And a very decent wage it was compared to many other seasonal jobs. It wasn’t just the money though. We were curious about the world, and on the brink of adulthood, always eager to pick up insights for getting along well in life. I guess they call it “life hacks” now.
Texts: Isaiah 43:16-21; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8
Judas is a distraction. There. I said it. I’ve been wanting to say this for a very long time. Judas should not get all the attention. There’s some amazing stuff going on with Jesus in the events leading up to the Passover in today’s gospel lesson yet it’s Judas who commands the stage.
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 00 parishes in the Western United States for 20 years.