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  • The Fierce Urgency Of Easter from The Rev. Chuck Currie on Vimeo. The people of Sunnyside Church and University Park Church gathered this morning for Easter in Portland.  This was my final joint service with the two congregations before I step down in June and begin my duties full time at Pacific University as the new Director of the Center for Peace and Spirituality and University Chaplain.  This morning was a joyful occasion with diverse people celebrating the life and ministry of Jesus. Each Easter we are given the opportunity to decide whether or not we will walk in a world of darkness or embrace the light of God which offers a path toward salvation for all people, regardless of faith tradition. We must embrace our calling as people of faith with the same fierce sense of urgency (a phrase often used by Martin Luther King, Jr.) that Jesus embraced his. As Christians, we believe that Jesus is the “the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14),” as told in the Gospel of John....

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  • The sermon podcast is at the bottom of this post. Matthew 28:1-10 and Acts 10:34-43 Easter Sunday April 20, 2014 First Christian Church Mahtomedi, MN Jonny Gomes #5 of the Boston Red Sox lays the World Series trophy and the ‘Boston Strong 617′ jersey onto the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street during the World Series victory parade on November 2, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) It was the poet T.S. Elliot that once said that April was the cruelest month. Living as we do in the Northern United States, we know that April is all sunshine and flowers. April can be rainy and cold and we saw this week snow in April in Minnesota is not an unheard of event. It was the Facebook posting of a friend that reminded me that April is the cruelest month not just because of the weather, but because some of the most memorable tragedies and disasters seemed to have taken place in April. Here’s just a few: the assassination of Abraham Lincoln,...

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  • Don't Eat Alone

    In the waning minutes of this Easter night that will slip into a day that will mark, among other things, the running of the Boston Marathon and our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary, I am grateful for life, for the signs of resurrection, for the indefatigable light that refuses to be extinguished. I am grateful for another […]

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  • After Easter worship today, one of my friends came up and said:  "As things unfolded this little prayer sprang up inside me."Lord as you have risen, may your love and goodness rise in me every day.  AmenWhat a blessing! I'm going to use this every day between Easter and Pentecost.(Thank you Dave Comstock for this GREAT picture!)

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  • All are in this life together--we eat what everyone must eat; by your grace we are what we are. When fear seizes us, and we flee from the very thing you want us to do, may your light dawn in our darkness--may your grace for us not be in vain. Lectionary Readings Ps. 97; 145; 124; 115 Exod. 12:14-27 1 Cor. 15:1-11 Mark 16:1-8 Selected Verses Ps. 97:11 Light dawns for the righteous,          and joy for the upright in heart. Exod. 12:16c …only what everyone must eat, that alone may be prepared by you. 1 Cor. 15:10a But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. Mark 16:8 So [Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome] went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

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  • Emily C. Heath

    You can listen here: http://revheath.podomatic.com/entry/2014-04-20T18_05_17-07_00 Or read below: Matthew 28:1-10 28:1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 28:2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the […]

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  • April 20, 2014 – Easter Day, Year AActs 10:34-43; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18© 2014 Evan D. GarnerThe audio of this sermon is available here.My wife, Elizabeth, will tell you that I have the maturity of a third-grader. She’s right, of course. I laugh at crude jokes. I pull pranks on unsuspecting friends. And I love to jump out from around the corner and scare people. I do it enough that now my kids have caught on to the act, and all three of them will hide behind a chair or a sofa when they hear the garage door open, signaling that I am home. Although their timing still needs a little work, they’re getting pretty good at jumping out and yelling “BOO!” when I get too close. The staff at St. John’s is regularly subjected to my little surprises. Eventually, though, after enough times, the victims of my startlings get used to it, and they don’t jump quite as high. Sometimes I can still get them—especially early in the morning when they don’t think anyone else is in the office—and I...

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  • HT Larry Behrendt. חַג שָׂמֵחַ

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  • The Blue Room

    MaryAnn McKibben Dana Idylwood Presbyterian Church April 20, 2014 Easter Sunday Matthew 28:1-10  28:1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 28:2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came […]

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  • From Jericho Brisance. HT Hemant Mehta. Brisance gives an account of how his views have changed on various subjects, including the following observation: I consider that I may never have actually believed in Jesus. Perhaps no one for 19 centuries has. There is something in the way: he did not leave us any writings of his own. To be clear, we first believe the New Testament writers and the traditions of the church. Through that filter and conduit, we believe in Jesus. Before we can believe in Jesus, we have to believe the authors of the gospels. And very oddly, even they did not tell us who they were. So as bad as it is, the whole belief filter actually moves yet another step back: we believe the followers of an even later generation; who tell us who they think wrote the gospels; who then tell us what Jesus said and did. We routinely short circuit this rather mangled trail by simply saying that we “believe in Jesus”. But to be entirely thorough, there is yet another layer. I recognize...

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  • Allan R. Bevere


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  • Here are a few pictures from Holy Week 2014: it was a wild and wonderful ride during which we met a number of new friends. So as Easter Sunday morphs into nap time (and then maybe a bit of yard work in the sunshine) I am letting the joy and awe of God's grace percolate within. Next week will be about a bit of rest, a trip South to see family and then Carrie Newcomer's show in Cambridge (and maybe an overnight, too.) Onward to the pix...BAND PRACTICE FOR MISUNDERSTOOD: Carlton, Jon and James cooking up some sweet, hot jazz...GOOD FRIDAY SET UP FOR MISUNDERSTOOD:  Before the action...UP CLOSE AND PERSON AFTER THE GIG...KICKIN' OUT THE JAMS TO THE GLORY OF GOD: Misunderstood 2014EASTER SUNDAY BEFORE EUCHARIST...Many, many thanks to Andy, Brian, Carlton, Dave, Dianne, Eva, Jon, Jonnie, Rob, Sue as well as Liz, Scott, Paul, David, Becky, Crystal, Mark and Janet, too. 

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  • This Sunday morning’s service at Crooked Creek Baptist Church was held jointly not just with the members of Grace Tabernacle, a Congolese congregation that has been sharing our building, but with many guests who were here for the “Life After Pain” conference. We had our own choir as well as a Congolese choir, and the message was delivered by Pastor Mutima B. Peter. During the message, Pastor Peter mentioned that his congregation in Maine is changing its name from “International Christian Fellowship” to “Bethel Christian Center.” I wondered why, but his sermon soon made this clear. Jacob was a refugee. He was on the run in a strange land, and there had an experience of encountering the divine. The message also mentioned Esther, considered from a similar perspective. In connection with her story, the point was made about the long-term impact on a society that the children of refugees have. I am always delighted when I have the opportunity to...

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  • Where the Wind

    Sermon for Easter Sunday, Year A || April 20, 2014 || Matthew 28:1-11 Download: 20140520eastersermon.mp3 Good morning and welcome to St. Mark’s church on this beautiful Easter Sunday. As I see some unfamiliar faces out there, please allow me to do a quick introduction. My name is Adam Thomas, and my wife Leah and I moved to Mystic three months ago today so that I could become the rector of this wonderful church. In that short space of time, I have been overwhelmed by the welcome we received from this parish, and I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of this community. If this holiday of Easter brought you across our threshold for the first time today, I invite you to return again on a day of less fanfare, to join us, and to enhance our community with your presence. On Good Friday two days ago, I didn’t finish my homily. Instead, I left those present with a cliffhanger. We were standing at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ mother and...

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  • John Vest

    God of majesty, God of grace, God of love, God of peace, God of wonder, God of mystery, God of hope, God of joy: In the darkness of night at the Easter Vigil, at the breaking of dawn early this morning on the beach, and now in this magnificent place filled with people eager to feel your presence, heralded by trumpets and choir, celebrated with the best we have to offer, the light of Christ shines bright. In the joy of children on Easter morning, in the wonder that fills their hearts and minds, the light of Christ shines bright. In our songs of praise and Easter proclamations, in the energy that fills the air and the hope that rings throughout the world, the light of Christ shines bright. But what about the lonely places, God? What about the dark places? What about the person waiting alone at a bus stop? What about the person standing on the corner asking for help? What about the person without a job? What about the family without a home? What about the person aching for love and...

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  • Yesterday morning, my wife and I came downtown at about 8:30 am. I was coming to participate in our brief and moving liturgy for Holy Saturday. Corrie was going to participate in one of Madison’s annual rituals: the first Dane County Farmer’s Market of the season. As we were driving, I remarked to Corrie as I was looking at the bare trees and the few signs of new life in people’s yards and gardens, that it was hard to believe it was April 19. After a long, hard winter, it’s still not quite clear that spring has arrived. Perhaps by tomorrow the bulbs will be begin to bloom. But who knows? It might snow, too. We’ve been walking around the yard, gauging damage from the winter, looking for signs of new life in the trees, shrubs, and plants and hoping that we’ve not lost too many items from the cold winter and heavy snow. It’s a ritual every gardener knows. Our impatience at the end of the winter and the slow spring only deepens our worries that the winter killed some of our most beloved...

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  • Matthew 28:1-10All Heaven Breaks LooseJames Sledge                                       April 20, 2014 – Resurrection of the LordIf you’ll pardon the expression, there’s a whole lot of shaking going on in Matthew’s account of Holy Week and the Resurrection. It started on Palm Sunday although it’s easy to miss that in the English translation. There it says that when Jesus had entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, but the word more literally means “shaken,” a word most often associated with earthquakes and the root of our word “seismic.”The same shaking occurs when Jesus dies on the cross, an earthquake that leads the centurion and those with him to say, “Surely this man was God’s son.” And now on Easter morning, the shaking continues. An angel comes down from heaven to roll back the...

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  • Allan R. Bevere

    ... and even death itself will turn backwards!

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  • Brian McLaren

    The scandal of Easter was not simply that a supernatural event occurred. Minds in the ancient world weren't divided by the rigid natural-supernatural dualism that forms modern minds. In those days miracles were notable not for defying the laws of nature (a concept that was unknown until recent centuries), but for conveying an unexpected meaning or message through an unusual or unexplainable medium. What was the scandalous meaning conveyed by the resurrection of Jesus? It was not simply that a dead man was raised. It was who the raised man was. Someone rejected, mocked, condemned, and executed by both the political and religious establishments was raised. A convicted outlaw, troublemaker, and rabble rouser was raised. A condemned blasphemer and lawbreaker was raised. A nonviolent nonconformist who included the outcasts - and therefore became an outcast - was raised. What does that mean about the authoritative institutions that condemned him? What does that mean about his...

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  • For more from Harry Emerson Fosdick, see his famous sermon, “Shall The Fundamentalists Win?”  

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  • Dating God

    Thomas Merton concluded his beautiful book New Seeds of Contemplation with a chapter titled “The General Dance.” It is a powerful reflection on the reason for the Incarnation, the meaning of humanity in creation, and the time that is inaugurated by the Resurrection — if only we can open our eyes to see it. To talk about sin in the way St. Bonaventure does is to talk about humanity’s bent-overness, that we can not look up and out, but only down and at ourselves. In a sense, this is what Merton and others mean in terms of when we cannot see, when we cannot look beyond ourselves to see the world as it really is. Easter is a time to see and a time to join the general dance of creation. To remember not only that which has been fulfilled in Christ’s death and resurrection, but to recall also what St. Francis said in recalling that in the Incarnation we have the promise that salvation is at hand. For, as Merton writes, “The Lord made the world and made...

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  • Resurrection readings on this Resurrection Day.An invitationto live in the confidence that every act of compassion matters - not just now, but forever,to celebrate the infinite possibilities beckoning  past "the reigning plausability structure,"to say "yes" to the present risenness of Christ,to stand in flux and change as bright "immortal diamond." Christ is Risen!He is risen indeed!Who Are You Looking For? Anna Kocher, 2006from Resurrection, Rob Bell, 2010resurrection announces that God has not given up on the worldbecause this world mattersthis world that we call homedirt and blood and sweat and skin and light and waterthis world that God is redeeming and restoring and renewing . . .resurrection says that what we do with our lives mattersin this bodythe one that we inhabit right nowevery act of compassion mattersevery work of art that celebrates the good and the true mattersevery fair and honest act of business and tradeevery kind wordthey all belong and they will all go...

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  • Journeys Home

    Christ the Lord is ris'n today, Alleluia!Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!Sing, ye heav'ns, and earth reply, Alleluia!Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!Christ has opened Paradise, Alleluia!Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia!Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!Foll'wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!---Charles Wesley

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