Tag: easter

Summary: The book of Acts depicts daring communities of faith. They dare because, in various ways, they open themselves up to defying or surpassing the limits imposed by the status quo. Preachers who work with Acts during Easter might look at the lectionary’s assigned texts as examples of how believers bear witness (following Jesus’ words, “You will be my witnesses,” in Acts 1:8) to the new realities that God makes possible as a result of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension.

Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers

Summary: The Acts of the Apostles often proves to be a challenging book for preachers. Acts contains so many larger-than-life stories that it can leave congregations incredulous and dismayed. In this article I offer advice for preaching from Acts. Preachers do well to embrace the wonder, adventure, and hyperbole that pulses through Acts, for those features are part and parcel of the book’s attempts to celebrate God’s commitment to bringing new realities into being. Acts is a book whose mood matches the magnificent claims of Easter. It is a book that aims to unleash imagination. In doing so, it provides a vital counterbalance for our more cautious and prudent tendencies. It corrects us when we mistake the status quo for God’s true intentions for humanity’s flourishing.

Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers

Summary: According to the book of Acts, when the temple-based authorities in Jerusalem command Peter and his associates to stop preaching and teaching about Jesus in public, the apostles refuse. With a pithy reply, “We must obey God rather than any human authority,” they declare their intention to honor their spiritual convictions no matter what consequences may result. The apostles’ heroic and bold resolve stands in a long tradition in which people have pondered when it is right to insist on honoring one’s conscience in the face of political and legal pressure to do otherwise. Given the contours of the current cultural discourse in America, when many are quick to demand laws and concessions that respect their “religious liberty,” this episode from Acts and the travails of other Christians who have paid a price for resisting tyranny remind us how we should conceive of “religious liberty” in the first place. Such liberty in a civil society should not become a license to do whatever one wants or a legal basis to deny rights and hospitality to others. Rather, it is a free determination to do what’s necessary to promote our neighbors’ well-being, even if those actions invite uncomfortable repercussions.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on Day1 and Patheos.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: When terrified women flee Jesus’ tomb on the first Easter morning, Mark’s Gospel comes to a jarring end, refusing to let us forget that the prospect of Jesus’ resurrection will deeply unsettle us. This Gospel seems to know that we view Easter from a place situated between hope and fear, between disappointment and fullness. What propels us forward, as we live in the midst of uncertainties and events that remind us how beyond control our lives are, is the promise that Jesus continues to go before us.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post, Day1, and Patheos.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: Everyone knows what the preacher is going to talk about on Easter morning. How can a sermon take people into a gospel text in creative and engaging ways on this important day?

This video was prepared for those who preach or teach. Watch it at Working Preacher.

Videos on preaching

Summary: In this biblical passage, Peter tells the Roman centurion Cornelius and his household about Jesus, emphasizing that the news about him is good news for all people. The lectionary assigns this passage for Easter Sunday.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary