Today in the Spirit: Pentecost Sunday B (Whitsunday)

Posted on May 12, 2024

“Pentecost Sunday already!?” While this might well be our reaction to the arrival of this feast day on the church calendar every year, we can only imagine how the disciples felt when Jesus ordered them to go to Jerusalem and wait until you are clothed with power from on high  (Luke 24:49). As they gathered…

The Liturgical Home: Ascension

Posted on May 7, 2024

The Feast of the Ascension, or Ascension Day, is one of the highest feast days in the liturgical year. It is the day we remember Jesus’ bodily ascent into heaven and its profound significance. The Ascension might suggest sadness since Jesus physically left the earth. However, instead, it abounds with great joy as we celebrate…

Today in the Spirit: Easter 7B (The Sunday After Ascension)

Posted on May 5, 2024

As opposed to the Ascension Day readings, which center around the narrative of the event itself, the Sunday after Ascension Day (never Easter 7 as in the BCP 2019) assignments focus more on the implications of Christ’s ascending and taking the throne with the Father for the life of the believer. Particularly in Year B,…

Today in the Spirit: Easter 6B

Posted on April 28, 2024

As much as any other set of readings for a Sunday, the Easter 6 schedule puts on display the influence the love of the Father God has over those who believe in the Son. The assigned Gospel reading out of John 15:9-17 sets the tone. After teaching his disciples, I am the true vine… and…

On This Most Holy Night: An Easter Vigil with the Arts

Posted on April 22, 2024

An Ancient Tradition The first Easter Vigil I ever attended was in southern Ukraine, what is now annexed Crimea. I was 15 years old, on a spring break mission trip with my Christian high school. I don’t remember as much as I wish I did (and I admit I was smitten with a particular boy…

Today in the Spirit: Easter 5B

Posted on April 21, 2024

On Easter 5 every year, the church moves us hard toward the mindset of expectation for the coming of the Holy Spirit. To get us there, the lectionary puts forward Jesus’ most explicit teaching on this matter, as found in the Last Supper discourse in John 14-16. For Easter 5B, the Gospel selection is John…

Good Shepherd Sunday: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Posted on April 19, 2024

On Good Shepherd Sunday, we both acknowledge that we are sheep who go astray and also glory in the good news that Jesus is our shepherd. Typical features of the day include a collect on the theme of the Good Shepherd and the reading or singing of Psalm 23 or Psalm 100. The gospel reading…

Today in the Spirit: Easter 4B (Good Shepherd)

Posted on April 14, 2024

By the end of Easter 3, the Sunday lectionary has covered all the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus recorded in Luke and John; so at Easter 4, the church makes a shift in the assignment of Gospel readings to those of our Lord’s teaching about the new life of the kingdom of God under his reign…

Today in the Spirit: Easter 3B

Posted on April 8, 2024

We continue in the Easter season with readings appropriate for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord. The assigned Gospel reading from Luke 24:36-49 appears to be Luke’s version of the initial post-resurrection visit by Jesus to his disciples, which we heard last Sunday from John 20. If that is the case, Luke’s narrative…

Saint Thomas Sunday: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Posted on April 6, 2024

The Sunday after Easter is also called “Saint Thomas Sunday.” This Sunday, we read the story of the apostle Thomas, his doubts about the news of the resurrection, and his confession of faith when Jesus showed him his wounds. It is a day to acknowledge skepticism and celebrate belief. Most importantly, Saint Thomas Sunday is…