We need to learn again how to share the Good News, just as the disciples had to learn 2000 years ago. But we are not left comfortless.
If all Stephen had—if all we have—is the Jesus kerygma, then what we have is a dead man who died years ago, hanging on a tree. That would mean that today is just another weekly funeral liturgy where we come together to eulogize this man Jesus, to remember his teachings, and to try our best to be like he was. But brothers and sisters, we have so much more.
It is a wonder and a blessing that our Shepherd King keeps calling us—with a voice we can hear above our own bleating—but he does. He calls us not just into the sheepfold for our own protection but out of our self-focus, our self-interest, and our self-destruction into the one flock of abundant life.
Where do we find the road where Jesus is likely to show up and have a conversation with us about our salvation? How can we hope for a deeper relationship with our God—in moments that make our hearts burn within us?
To this day,
they still call me “Doubting Thomas,”
and fine . . .
I’ll own that.
But who here doesn’t doubt?
Who here doesn’t sometimes wonder
if they’re really on the outside looking in?
If maybe God doesn’t really love them
the way they thought he did?
Who here isn’t envious of those
who always seem to get it right,
who have a special connection to God,
who walk through life
like they’ve just had an encounter
with the Risen Christ,
while you sit there thinking,
“But what about me?
What about me, O Lord?”
Like all the saints
through all the ages,
we who are baptized
have gone under the water.
We have gone into the grave.
“We have been buried with Christ in his death,
and just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too can walk in newness of life.”
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity is challenging at best, and confusing at worst…
Just what is that like to have God’s Spirit poured out all over you?
Jesus was leaving the disciples, having taught them everything they needed to know to be true witnesses to the power of God and the fulfillment of the scriptures. He had prepared them the best he could, to be clothed with power—to receive a spiritual hood symbolizing how far they had come, and how much they were going to accomplish.
What we want the transformative healing that moves us from the sick person on the mat to the well person, who carries and lowers others into the healing waters…