“Now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world…” (John 17: 11)

“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1: 8)

The Apostle Paul came to Athens by default.  He hadn’t planned even to pass through the city.  Athens was, after all, the intellectual capital of the ancient world—its UVA and Cal Tech and Oxford all rolled into one—not the most fertile territory for an itinerant rabbi preaching a new gospel.  But after the Apostle’s life was threatened in northern Greece, friends smuggled him into the city.   

John 14: 1 - 14 

Forty years ago when I was first ordained, the Bishop appointed me as the Canterbury chaplain at Western Maryland College, a small liberal arts school in Westminster, Maryland. I was given the task of strengthening a campus ministry program which served from a Canterbury House. The house (not as stately looking as the St. Paul’s Canterbury House across the street) was a narrow, worn-down Victorian town-house where rooms had been furnished for meetings, study and worship. Few students used the place; the program seemed to be slipping away. Just ordained, I pondered what to do to breathe new life into this ministry.

In today’s reading from the Gospel according to John, Jesus begins with two figures of speech related to raising sheep. The first talks about a right way and a wrong way to enter a sheepfold. The shepherd goes in the right way—through the gate. Anyone who climbs in another way, says Jesus, is a thief and a bandit—up to no good. That’s a simple description, and it makes sense.

This is one of just three Sundays in the year when we always read the same Gospel lesson. We read this passage today, of course, because it describes two appearances of the risen Christ, one on the evening of Easter Sunday, and one just a week later, this evening. The Apostle Thomas was present for only the second of these appearances.

John 20: 1-18

Risen Christ, in this garden of delight your Son has sounded forth the victory of life now won. Help us to hear your Word and to know your presence now and always. Amen.

Jesus was a celebrity. He couldn’t help it. He kept trying to get away by himself, but crowds swarmed around him wherever he went. Like us, they were looking for drama and excitement—especially miracle—to brighten up their lives. But Jesus wanted them to listen and to follow. Inevitably, there would be a clash.

Footwashing was a dirty job.

Eliezer was the best tailor in Bethany, or so his wife always claimed. She was proud of him, proud that he always delivered new garments on time, proud of his delicate stitching, proud that he used only the finest linen and wool. Not many women in town had such a reliable husband, such a good provider. She held her head high each morning as she carried her water jug to the well, knowing that other women were envious.

Worship Schedule

8:00 a.m. Holy Communion
10:00 a.m. Holy Communion
5:30 p.m. Holy Communion
9:00 p.m. Compline
12:15 p.m.
Holy Communion
5:30 p.m.
Evening Prayer

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