On Being Saved and Bearing Fruit

Co-missioners, Two weeks ago Steve Kuhl sent us a reflection he wrote for his parishioners at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in South Milwaukee. It deals with St. John’s vine-and-branches text for this year’s Fifth Sunday of Easter. Yes, that day is already behind us. Not so the days of absorbing the text and putting it to use.

Ed Schroeder on our Lord’s Ascension

Co-missioners, Messiah Lutheran in Fairview Park, Ohio, is one of the few ELCA congregations we know of that continues to celebrate Ascension Day with a festive liturgy. While musing on a sermon to preach there tonight, our editor browsed the Crossings library and ran across a fabulous telling of the gospel that Ascension Day touts. Ed Schroeder wrote it in 2006. It was his Ascension Day gift to Thursday Theology readers that year.

The Easter Life in Practice (An Example)

Co-missioners, Apologies. We’re putting the cart before the horse this week. The horse is a little set of gospel gems that one of us has been gleaning from the Johannine texts of the current Easter season. The cart is an example of how it might it look when you start investing such treasure in the everyday life of the church.

A New “Commandment”?

Co-missioners, Last week’s post by Matt Metevelis (“Better Medicine”) prompted Steve Albertin to submit a sermon he preached three years ago on the Gospel appointed for the Sixth Sunday of Easter in Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary. A lot of us will be listening to this come May 9th.

Better Medicine

Co-missioners, Does the church you attend or tune into these days follow the three-year lectionary? If so, you’ll hear a lot about love over the next couple of Sundays. That’s because 1 John is the featured epistle for the current Easter season. Love—agape in Greek—is John’s big word.

Why is the Gospel not Preached? A Note to a Friend

Co-missioners, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Thus St. John’s version of the Great Commission. We heard it in church a few days ago as we always do on the Second Sunday of Easter. Those who listened closely caught Christ our risen Lord authorizing a lavish, exuberant use of the Gospel.

How the Old Age Works (A Book Review)

Co-missioners, We celebrated Easter four days ago. For the next several weeks our thoughts in church will be focused squarely on the new age God launched through our Lord’s resurrection. Meanwhile we continue with the rest of the world to stumble through the old age of sin and death. Comes the question: what is God’s role, if any, in shaping …

The Good News in the “Short Ending” of Mark’s Gospel

Co-missioners, Do the folks who run the church you attend follow the three-year lectionary when they plan their Easter services? If so, they’ll have a choice come Sunday of which Easter Gospel they’ll give you to hear, either St. John’s or St. Mark’s. The ones who love a preaching challenge will feed you St. Mark’s. Of the four Easter morning …

Reading and Reflection for Holy Week

Co-missioners, We are all of three days away from the launch of Holy Week and its deluge of texts that constitute the heart of Christian proclamation. This Sunday we’ll hear St. Mark’s account of Jesus’ passion (Mk. 14-15). St. John’ s account will follow on Good Friday (Jn. 18-19). The day prior, Maundy Thursday, we’ll hear from John of foot-washing …

Addressing White Supremacy in the Church

Co-missioners, Here is one of several reasons for spending time with today’s offering: it will likely be the first time you’ve ever seen Luther’s “Heidelberg Disputation” marshalled as a resource for addressing the hot-button issue of white supremacy as a stubborn feature of American life, and of American church life in particular. Along the way you’ll be introduced to some …