Fifth Sunday of Easter – May 3, 2015
Mass at 11:00 a.m. Readings: Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 22:25-31; 1 John 4:7-21; John 15:1-8. Pastor George Detweiler preaches and presides.
The theme for this week is Jesus Christ as the Vine of which we are the branches. The image is extended to include pruning and bearing fruit. The Risen Christ is the vine. We are grafted to the vine of Christ in baptism. As vines only produce fruit when they are pruned at the beginning of the growing season, so we are pruned to be fruitful as disciples.
Jesus then turns the image to “abiding.” As we stay connected to the Vine of the Risen Christ, we abide in him and he in us. It is only by abiding in him that we bear fruit as his disciples. If we do not abide in him, we are thrown away like the branches that have been pruned from the vine.
Abiding in Christ is a life-long charge or commission. It is accomplished through the disciplines of followers of Christ: reading the Bible and praying every day, worshiping regularly with God’s people, giving of ourselves and what we have, and serving in Christ’s name. How are you abiding in Christ?
The connection from the Gospel and second lesson to the first lesson is about being cut off from acceptability. The Ethiopian, as a eunuch, was not permitted in the Jerusalem Temple, from which he was returning when Philip went to meet him. He was reading Isaiah, specifically “In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”
This passage could have been about the eunuch himself. Deuteronomy 23:1 says “The eunuch shall have no place in the congregation.” As one cut off, he was intrigued by the words of the prophet Isaiah that Philip explained to him. Their conversation led to the eunuch’s conversion and baptism. He became a disciple of Christ, who also had been despised and cut off.
Who is cut off from acceptability in our modern society? From listening to the news it seems the “other”- the unacceptable – are immigrants and the poor. Every society picks a group to harass and blame for its own failures, its inability to receive life as a gift from God. How can we reach out in Christ’s name to those who are cut off and disregarded?
Music for Sunday
Prelude: Psalm Prelude No.2, Set 1, Herbert Howells
Offertory: In the Heart Where Love is Abiding, John Bernard
Communion: Ave Verum Corpus, William Byrd
Postlude: Postlude, William Matthias
#452 Awake, O Sleeper, Rise from Death
#379 Now the Green Blade Rises
#372 Christ Is Arisen
#447 O Blessed Spring
#403 Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song
#449 We Know that Christ is Raised
The Holy Trinity Transition Team needs your input and insight!
Please plan to attend two “Dialogue Circles” following two Sunday Masses in May. In groups of 8, or so, seated around tables as we eat some lunch (one of which will be pot-luck), you’ll be asked, by Transition Team facilitators, a series of open-ended questions about Holy Trinity’s heritage, identity, community, mission–and our future. Your perspective and insights on these questions are key to completing the Strategic Plan that the Transition Team is developing, and crucial to our eventual process to seek pastoral candidates and extend a call to our next pastor. You participation is necessary to capture your view.
Dialogue Circle/Luncheon (in the community room):
Sunday, May 3, about 12:45pm – 2:00pm, following Mass and coffee. LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED
Sunday, May 17, about 12:45pm – 2:00pm, following Mass and coffee. POT-LUCK LUNCHEON–please bring something to share!
With many thanks from your Transition Team: Steve Aurand, Anna Bolz, Tim Cage, Suzanne Hoglund, Joshua Leveque, Patty McGreevey, Jean Silliman, and Jonathan Stewart.
The restoration of our 65th St fence is nearly complete! Spirit Ironworks has informed us that there is still a little more work to do, and when that is completed, they will send it to the finishers. Once they learn the finishers schedule, they will give us an expected delivery date.
Thanks to past and recent gifts, we are now less than $7,000 away from covering the costs of this work. If you have not yet given–or even if you have–please consider making a gift to help close this gap.