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…

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…

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…

Today in the Spirit: Easter 2B

Posted on March 31, 2024

The seven Sundays after Easter Day (including Pentecost Sunday) is the space the church uses to walk the believing community through Jesus’ resurrection appearances as revealed in the NT or his important teaching delivered before his death about living life by his resurrection power. The bulk of this material is found in Luke and John,…

Death, Be Not Proud: A Reading of John Donne’s Holy Sonnet X

Posted on March 30, 2024

“Death, be not proud,” also known as Holy Sonnet X, is John Donne’s great poem in mockery of Death. Composed in 1609, the poem was published posthumously in 1633. It is fitting that Donne got the final word, laughing at Death from his grave. The power of the poem is its reversal of our experience….

Today in the Spirit: Easter Day B

Posted on March 24, 2024

“Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!” At no time is the thrill of shouting out this acclamation greater than on Easter Day. “Enter then, all of you, into the joy of your Master. First and last, receive alike your reward. Rich and poor, dance together. You who have fasted and you…

Today in the Spirit: The Sunday after the Ascension A

Posted on May 15, 2023

The Sunday after Ascension Day is the seventh Sunday of the Easter season (just as Pentecost Sunday is the eighth Sunday of Easter), but you will find that nowhere in the BCP 2019 is this Sunday referred to as Easter 7. The designation Sunday after Ascension Day is a change from the BCP 1979 back…

Today in the Spirit: Easter 6A

Posted on May 8, 2023

Easter 6 Sunday every year is the last before Ascensiontide, the ten-day period between the remembrance of Jesus’ Ascension on the Thursday following this Sunday and Pentecost Sunday. Picking up on the language of John’s Gospel, which is our focus in the Easter season, the petition of the Collect is “for those who love you”…