Fourth Sunday of Easter Year A
(Good Shepherd Sunday)
John 10:1-10 and Acts 2:42-47
The fourth Sunday of Easter is what has generally been called Good Shepherd Sunday. Several Passages talk about Jesus or God as a shepherd. In John 10 where Jesus refers to himself as the Good Shepherd. We can look at this passage as being about God being the shepherd and that we sheep are to be good followers. But it can also mean God’s relation with God’s church. God cares for us and looks after us in ways we can’t imagine, because God is in love with us; God has a relationship with us. A community that is loved by the God of the universe is called to care for one another- not because it’s something we have to do, but because it’s who we are. And when people see a local congregation living as a Christ-led, hospitable community, they will take notice.
Acts 2:42-47 says the church is called to be a place where we learn to be a follower of Christ. The church is a place where we have fellowship with each other, where we care and love each other. The church is a place where we realize that our material possessions are not the goal in our lives, but to use what we have to help those in need, especially those in our community, but also those outside of it. The church is a place where we come together and break bread in table fellowship together, realizing that it is Christ that calls us to the table regardless of who we are. The church is a place where we are happy in Christ and are generous to friends and strangers.
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May 4, 2014- Third Sunday of Easter, Year A
Food doesn’t just bring needed nourishment to us, but it’s a context that brings people together. I remember eating arroz con pollo and talking in Spanish to my abuela, or grandmother. I remember eating so much soul food that I probably needed angioplasty at a family event in Louisiana a few years back, but it was also a wonderful time to get reaquainted with my southern relatives.
Here in Luke 24 we encounter another story concerning the ressurection. It’s the road to Emmaus where Jesus appears in disguise to two of his disciples. They had thought Jesus was the one that would save them, and now their savior was dead. They told this disguised Jesus that it was already the third day since his death and in Jewish tradition, this meant that the soul had left the body, meaning there was no hope that Jesus would ever come back. These two had lost hope and were alone. They had placed their hopes on this one called Jesus and it had all ended so badly.
Jesus is kept hidden from the two disciples. We don’t know why that is, but it is only at the breaking of the bread that they discovered Jesus was with them all along.
If you want to know who Jesus is, look at the meals Jesus ate. These are the places where he reveals himself to the world. The calling of Matthew the tax collector, the “sinful” woman who annointed Jesus, Zacheus and other events showed a God that cared for the lost, hurting and broken.
This is the savior we worship, one that is made known to us in meals. As followers of Jesus, do our meals, at our communion tables and at all of our tables reveal the something about the Risen Savior?
Sermon: “The Healing Power of Collard Greens”.
I love good food, and it probably shows.
I consider myself lucky to be born in the family that I’m in, because I grew up with two wonderful cooking traditions. On my father’s side is the African American tradition of the Deep South. It’s a tradition of fried chicken, collard greens, mac and cheese, cornbread stuffing and sweet potato pie. It is all fattening and it’s all good.
Continue reading Sermon: “The Healing Power of Collard Greens”.