Interventions in The Gospel of Luke

Tomorrow we begin a series we’re playfully naming, “Interventions in The Gospel of Luke.” Our reflections will not only draw on the text itself, what it says, what it teaches, but it suggests that by hearing, and re-telling these stories we encounter the text in a way that transforms us. We will be looking at ways in which God, through Jesus, intervened in our world, disrupted the status quo, and problematized the “logic of the world” and contrasted it with the logic of the embodied kingdom of God. We will be discussing how Jesus’ counter-movements of peace, love and hope model for the church how we are to live in the world.

Good stories always connect with the real “stuff of life,” great stories change lives.

Another way the Gospel intervenes is through its re-telling within our own time. Not only was the incarnation of God’s son in the first century an intervention, but as a people formed and bound by the Holy Spirit, when we re-tell these stories, God can, through the text, intervene in our own lives as well (and of course, God acts outside the text as well). My hope is that the Holy Spirit will work in and through the Gospel of Luke this to intervene in our lives and continue to form us into God’s people. Continue reading Interventions in The Gospel of Luke

Lectio Divina and Acts 2:41-47

This past Sunday we finished up our discussions around Acts 2. For worship, we had a more meditative tempo. The host for Sunday’s worship led the congregation in a simple prayer, shortly after one of the women in the congregation shared about her growing concern for child trafficking in the world, but especially in the Portland/Vancouver area.  I found her discussion to be deeply moving.

We did a few Taize songs and then, after our petitions and thanksgivings, we did Lectio. Here is the intro I gave, followed by the actual flow of the service so you can use it if you would like:

Letio is a way to pray the scriptures. It is letting the Inward Christ speak to us through his inspired and inspiring word. It also gives us space to respond to that word, to allow the word to speak through us. Then as we go you go from worship you “Take a word with you.” The hope is that whatever word you are given you can hang onto it and allow it to shape your life during the week. Continue reading Lectio Divina and Acts 2:41-47

Community of the Holy Spirit: Repentance as a Way of (Dis)believing

This past Sunday we looked at Peter’s Sermon in Acts 2. I struggled over this text for a while. How do I preach a sermon on a sermon and keep it interesting? Actually, I’m trying to avoid using words like “preach” and “sermon” because they feel less participatory and Quakerly. I really am interested in developing a style of relfecting on the text and inviting others to do the same. In either case, it took me awhile to work through some of my own feelings about Peter’s Sermon. I had a hard time moving past the tendency to quote Peter’s statement, ““Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38-39 NRSV)” as a kind of revivalistic salvation message. Continue reading Community of the Holy Spirit: Repentance as a Way of (Dis)believing

The Community of the Holy Spirit: The Birth of a Diverse Church (Sermon)

This past Sunday was Pentecost Sunday and for someone who spent his high school years in a Charismatic church, I know the day fairly well. It proved to play another significant role in my spiritual autobiography as it was also the day of my first sermon as pastor of Camas Friends Church. We covered the scripture passage Acts 2:1-21, the text all churches following the Revised Common Lectionary would have covered as well. Here is a summary of what was said.

Acts 2 is a favorite among our more lively and spirited brothers and sisters. There was, at least for me, growing up in a community that focused so heavily on the Spirit a strong emphasis on this chapter as it pertained to tongues, and prophesy. I remember many sermons discussing the ins and outs of the meaning behind this baptism of the Spirit, what Peter meant by “Sons and Daughters” and of course plenty of good jokes around the whole, “they must be drunk” line. I too was tempted to make a joke about that but was able to refrain myself for the time being. Continue reading The Community of the Holy Spirit: The Birth of a Diverse Church (Sermon)