Do You Read This Blog?
2009-05-07 by David Howell

If so, email us at office@goodpreacher.com

We need to know how many people are reading this blog. It will help us with our planning.

Just put "blog" or "I read the blog" in the subject line.

Thanks!





Philip a Mother?
2009-05-07 by David von Schlichten

Is Philip like a good mother in his willingness to help the eunuch understand the Scripture and to welcome him into the kingdom? A good mother is also instructive, patient, and open.

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator 





Idea for using Acts 8
2009-05-05 by Susan Cartmell

This might be a week to use the story in Acts (Acts 8: 26-40) to illustrate the gospel. The story in Acts is just so remarkable that it is a shame to overlook it. Perhaps it is a great way to show how the disciples and all of us depend on Christ to find our way.

The story of Philip baptizing the eunuch really preaches itself. The way that the angel of the Lord directs Philip, and shows him where to go to meet this exotic and unlikely disciple reminds us of how much we depend on God. It also demonstrates how smooth things are when we allow God in Christ to guide us. Philip went to a places he never expected to go and spoke to someone he could hardly imagine meeting. While it was so improbable, it also turned out to be so successful. Perhaps the story could illustrate the way that life unfolds when we recognize Christ as the vine to our branches.

This might be a time to just re-tell that story in all its remarkable detail, and then sum it up with the gospel passage.

(I need to apologize for my first blog entry. Somehow only the final paragraph posted. I did not figure out my mistake until today. Thanks for your patience.)





Do You Read This Blog?
2009-05-05 by David Howell

If so, email us at office@goodpreacher.com

We need to know how many people are reading this blog. It will help us with our planning.

Just put "blog" or "I read the blog" in the subject line.

Thanks!





I Can Do It Myself
2009-05-03 by Susan Cartmell

My mother likes to tell a story about me that occurred when I was 2. It seems my dad was pushing me on the swing and after I saw how he did it, I wanted to figure out how to make the swing go independently of him. Before long, I told him – “Daddy, my do it myself”. Obviously a person with such a tentative grasp of English grammar probably was not capable of figuring out how to pump a swing. But apparently this story was indicative of an attitude which was descriptive of my emerging personality. Both my parents found my fierce independence to be delightful and difficult in turns.

 

That quality in each of us which is a blessing is also often connected to that which proves to be a curse as well. So it was for Israel. God’s parental relationship is often described in terms of a vineyard keeper with vines that are at times productive and at other times unruly. Isaiah tells the Parable of the Unfriutful Vineyard and portrays God as so upset God wants to tear down the wall and let the whole thing go back to wilderness. (Isaiah 5:1-7)  Jeremiah uses the theme of a wild vine to describe the people of faith. God took an interest in Israel and planted a cultivated vine but Israel became wild and forgot, the vinedresser and to whom it belonged. (Jeremiah 2:21)

 

One idea for this week would be to speak about independence as a blessing and a curse. John reminds us that Christ is the vine and we are the branches. While we are aware of our dependence on Christ we also struggle with it.

Unaware of God:  Like the Israelites we forget that the God who created us is watching over us. We fail to see that we live in God’s vineyard and that God is actually fretting about our future, and our productivity like a vine dresser with a good vine. When we are pruned – we often complain and cannot grasp that it is meant for cleansing and it strengthens our roots and fortifies us and makes us more productive.

Unaware of Christ Jesus: John says that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Apart from Him we can do nothing. It is hard news – we are so sure of what needs to be done in the world. We are so independent. We don’t want help. We know what is right.

A nod to Mother’s Day. A nod is often all I give to this occasion, which often produces one of our bigger crowds after Easter. Perhaps that is a missed opportunity but in searching out vine references I found that Ezekiel 19:10-14 mentions – “Your mother was like a vine in a vineyard, a strong vine.”  Several verses earlier Ezekiel compared God to a lioness with her cubs. Each incarnation of Israel is a different cub this lioness has produced.  It is a pretty thin connection, I admit, but something you might be able to build on.

 



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