Grenz Ricoeur Shelf

Grenz Ricoeur Shelf

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Prayer and Scriptures for the Fifth Sunday of Easter (2014)

Prayer for the Week:
Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary:
First Reading: Acts 7:55-60.
Psalm: Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:2-10.
Gospel: John 14:1-14
 Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." 
Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it."
Lectionary Reflections:

The Brazos Blog: Lectionary Reflections for the Fifth Sunday of Easter with Douglas Harink.
Muers writes: “The passage we are considering [1 Pet. 2:2–3] is not explicitly Christological, but the words of verse 3—in their materiality, in the sounds they make—contain an echo; chrestos ho kurios, ‘the Lord is good,’ Christos ho kurios, Christ is Lord. This echo in turn serves as a reminder that the addressees of 1 Peter are being asked to relearn their desire in relationship to Jesus Christ. The indispensable condition of their need being met, of their being able to ‘grow up into salvation,’ is a particular human body.” 
Peter appeals to our spiritual sense: the food that is Christ himself is not merely “good for us” because of its “nutritional value.” It is also delectable: it tastes good! Our desire for this food is moved not only by hunger, but also by delight; not only by need, but also by attraction; not only from our lack, but also from the savory allure of that which will abundantly fill it—God’s goodness. “He has filled the hungry with good things” (Luke 1:53). 
Having once experienced this gourmet offering, which is truly good beyond imagining, how could we wish to return to the flavorless fast foods offered in the markets, malls, and carnivals of our society? In the kingdom of God the glorious, life-giving banquet is the big attraction (cf. Isa. 25:6; Luke 14:12–24). The aroma and flavor of Christ’s sheer goodness invite us: Come and dine!
Ekklesia Project: Trusting the Way with Kyle Childress.
Gathered together in an upper room with Jesus, the disciples give Jesus their full attention. They’ve just shared this meal with him and watched him kneel and wash everyone’s feet. They’re shocked to hear that one of them is a betrayer and they’re highly aware that outside the doors of their small room, the powers are organizing to put a stop to their small movement that only a few days before looked like it might become a successful revolution. Now, things look dire. To top it all, Jesus tells them that he is leaving them and they can’t go with him. So when Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” it is because their hearts are troubled. 
These are the well-known words read most often in the church during the troubled times of funerals and grief. These are words of comfort. Jesus comforts us just as he comforted his disciples in that room long ago, and to comfort us, Jesus tells his disciples to trust. To trust him. When he says, “Believe in God, believe also in me” (14:1 NRSV) he is using the Greek pisteuo, usually translated as “believe” but we have so thinned this word that to most listeners it conveys the sense of intellectual assent. Pisteuo has more of a connotation of trust and fidelity, of personal involvement and participation. Not so much intellectual assent or getting the facts straight; pisteuo is about relationship. Not what you know as much as who you know. This is a conversation of intimacy and tenderness: “I know you’re troubled and afraid, trust God. And trust me, too.”

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