5.05.2010

Sixth Sunday of Easter - Year C

What are you waiting for?? Go out. Change the world. Bring forth the Kingdom of God. It's in your hands.

Who, me? Are you talking to me? Me-the-Sunday-church-goer-who-reads-some-scripture-and-gives-to-those-in-need-but-really-just-tries-to-keep-my-head-down-Me? It's in MY hands?

This week's lectionary readings remind us that "Christian" isn't a label or a creed. It's a Movement (and Movement implies Action, doesn't it?). So get moving.

Perhaps you remember the story of Lydia told in the passage from Acts. There are a lot of cultural undertones to mind in this story. Lydia is a weaver of purple cloth. In ancient times, purple cloth would have been hard to make and would have commanded a high price and generally a royal clientele. So Lydia is a woman of means. And she invites the disciples in to baptize her entire household - family and servants - because it was the responsibility of the head of the household to tend to the entire household's spiritual needs. Now the disciples sort of stumbled upon Lydia and her household while responding to a vision that Paul received. They were moving - acting upon the direction they had been given, both by the resurrected Jesus and in visions and dreams.

In the Revelation, John has been lifted up to a birds eye view, witnessing a New Jerusalem without a temple, without a sun and moon to mark its day and night, with no gates to hold people in or out. It's an idyllic space, marked by peace and light and goodness and LIFE. And we assume that the vision is recorded to motivate us - to move us past our struggling to understand all the events of the Resurrection and right out into the nations - the world - sharing that same vision.

There are two options for reading from the Gospel of John. The first is Jesus telling his disciples about the Spirit that will be sent in his place when he is gone from the earth. The Spirit will act as a teacher and as a Reminder of all that Jesus taught. And today, the Spirit is available and Moving and Active if we are aware. And the Spirit is present for our own Motivation and Activity. The second selection is the familiar story of the Jesus commanding a man who had long been ill and begging at a well to stand up, take up his things and walk. It isn't the Laying on of Hands or the mixing of mud. Jesus tells the man to MOVE - to take action toward his own destiny.

And finally, the psalmist offers us a reminder that 'praising' is not passive and useless. Praising God is an act where we are interacting with God and shaping our understanding of God and the vision of how Creation ought to be. Praising God is another way of bringing forth the Kingdom of God as we work on seeing ourselves, each other, and the world as God might see it all.

God, I really do want the world to be full of
Grace and Peace.
But I would prefer if others would accomplish it.
It is so much easier for me to sit here and
just consume
and
feel bad about my situation
and
criticize the way others act
and
ignore the log in my eye.
I don't want to step out
because it might be hard.
I am afraid of doing something
because I might fail.
I fear I cannot make a difference
because I am but one.
Help me find strength
and courage
to act.
Guide me as I search for
Grace and Peace.
Amen.

© matt & laura norvell 2010 www.settingourstones.org
we want to share this with you and hope you'll share with the world;
we simply ask that you let people know where you found these words.
May Grace & Peace be with you.

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