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Sermon: Easter 4 (Good Shepherd Sunday) – April 26, 2015

The Rev. George Detweiler

John 10:11-18

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is always Good Shepherd Sunday. There is an incongruity about it in the modern world. Do any of you have sheep, or did any of you grow up around them? One hundred years ago there were sheep in the meadow across the street, but not anymore.

I have lots of experience with cows and chickens, some with dogs, more than I want with cats, but none with sheep.  I have never seen a shepherd. I have seen sheep dogs out west, but no shepherds.

But this image remains popular: Jesus, as the Risen Lord, is the shepherd who leads and cares for us, who are like sheep. (more…)

This Week at Holy Trinity

This Week at Holy Trinity


Fourth Sunday of Easter – April 26, 2015
Mass at 11:00 a.m. Readings: Acts 4:5-12; Psalm 23: 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18; Pastor George Detweiler will preach and preside.

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is sometimes called “Good Shepherd Sunday”. In each of the three years of the lectionary, on this Sunday, we read a section of John 10, and the psalm is always Psalm 23. The persistence of this image of the good shepherd in a largely urbanized culture is puzzling. Many people have experience with cats or dogs; a few of us with cows, horses or chickens, but sheep?  Not so much, and shepherds even less. But it remains a powerful metaphor for a sense of intimacy with and being cared for by the Lord Jesus. (more…)

Sermon: Easter 3 – April 19, 2015

The Rev. George Detweiler

1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36b-48

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Among the first visits I made in another congregation was to Harry, who entered a nursing home–the same one where his wife was already living–soon after I started as pastor. He was not expected to live more than a few months. But in the nursing home they took better care of him than he had ever taken of himself, and so three years later I went to say “good bye” to him. We talked, I prayed, he wished me well. This is ordinary stuff on the surface, but for me it was an encounter with the holy, with God’s ability to use the ordinariness of human life and the Church’s ministry to show himself to us. (more…)

This Week at Holy Trinity

This Week at Holy Trinity


Third Sunday of Easter – April 19, 2015
Mass at 11:00 AM. Readings: Acts 3:12-19; Psalm 4;1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36b-48. Pastor George Detweiler will preside and preach.

Today’s scriptures revolve around the theme of the difference that Christ’s resurrection makes. In the first lesson, it is the reaction to Peter healing a lame man. The healing is the foretaste or hors d’oeuvres of salvation that is available through the power of Christ’s resurrection.

The second lesson offers us hope as God’s children. But we are looking forward to being transformed into the image of God and made righteous as God in Christ is righteous. That will happen when we see God and he is, a longing expressed also in Psalm 4.

The gospel is another of the post resurrection appearances of Christ. As in John’s gospel, the Risen Lord addresses his disciples with “Peace be with you.” He addresses their shock by pointing out his physical reality, proved by his asking for something to eat. (more…)

Sermon: Bach Vespers – April 12, 2015

The Rev. George Detweiler

Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4

(Note: The musical information in this meditation is from John Eliot Gardiner’s book Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven)

Bach was 22 when he wrote this cantata for his audition in Mühlhausen. This was his second or perhaps third cantata, but the first in which he attempted to paint narrative in music. The success of this cantata and of the audition moved him from the role of a virtuoso organist to that of a daring composer of figural music, and, I would add, ardent promoter of the theology of Martin Luther. (more…)