Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pre-Sunday Homework!

This coming Sunday can be celebrated, according to the Lectionary, either as Ascension Sunday--a celebration of the day Jesus ascended into heaven, promising to send the Holy Spirit to be with us always--or as the Seventh Sunday in Easter.  We will be having one reading from each of these, with our Gospel account that of the ascension from Luke 24:44-53 and our Epistle reading continuing the story of Paul and Silas' ministry in Philippi which we began last week, from Acts 16:16-34.  Both of these texts can be read here.

I am not, however, going to blog directly about either of these readings today.  Instead, I want to give you an assignment of sorts to think about--something we will be talking about this coming Sunday as part of our reflection on the meaning of Jesus' ascension and of these texts.

Here is your assignment:  think about all the biblical texts with which you are familiar.  Which have been most formative in your faith?  Which do you cherish most?  Which have shaped you?  

The things that pop to mind may be some of the familiar stories pictured above--things like Jesus walking on water, the Creation story, the Easter story, Jesus' baptism, the Good Samaritan. Or they may be more unusual ones, sometimes that aren't stories in the traditional sense--for instance, on my list would probably be Psalm 139, Isaiah 43, Romans 8:28-39, and 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (ironic that two of the passages that came to my mind were penned by Paul when I frequently declare my difficulty with him!).  Anyway, just think before Sunday on the overarching story of scripture--the story Jesus took time to explain to his disciples before he ascended, the story Paul and Silas shared with the people of Philippi to mixed results.  Which parts of this Great Big Story have been most formative for you?  Which parts would you like to continue to be shaped by?

Think, remember, contemplate, and we will talk about it on Sunday!

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