Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Easter 7A/ Ascension Sunday


Well, you would think by my staying in town this week I would have more time to post. But no.

Here it is Wednesday, and I am just posting for Sunday. But here it is.

The passages for Sunday are;

Acts 1:6-14, John 17:1-11, and 1 Peter 4:12 - 5:11

From the Acts passage; 6So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When he had said this , as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” The disciples still did not understand the nature of the Kingdom of God. Their political aspirations were not Jesus' primary agenda.

Acts 1:8 is a retelling of the Great Commission found also in Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; and John 20:21.

After Jesus ascended into heaven, those who were present returned from Olivet and retreated to an upstairs room in Jerusalem (verses 12-14) to devote themselves to prayer.

14All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

John 17: 1-11 Powerful, loving prayer of Jesus. The prayer is recorded only in the gospel of John. The John 17 prayer is presumed to be one of the prayers that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night he was arrested. It is often referred to as the high priestly prayer by David Chytraeus, a Reformation-era theologian. . Jesus has just ended his instructions to his disciples; he has concluded with “In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” Now he prays to the Father. He summarizes the significance of his life.

Jesus Prays for Himself 1-5
Jesus Prays for His Disciples 6-11

Knowing the difficulties that would come, Jesus prayed for the disciples' protection and for their unity (verse 11).

Vv. 7-8 expand on keeping the Father’s word: the disciples know that:

· the Father is the source of all that the Son has been given;

· Jesus is from (out of) the Father; and

· the Father sent him into the world.

1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11 12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.

In the conclusion, the author addresses fellow “elders” (5:1) as one who shares in the certain hope of Christ’s return. He exhorts the leaders to:

· care for the faithful,

· oversee them in doctrine and discipline,

· treat them as equals, and

· be examples to them.

Ascension by Dali at Olga's gallery

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