Readings each Sunday Vanderbilt lectionary library and Textweek

Second Sunday of Easter 8th April 2018

Stuart Fenner

Second Sunday of Easter 8 April 2018 mp3
Second Sunday of Easter 8 April 2018 m4a

Acts 5: 32-37 ; Psalm 133 1; John 1:1 – 2:2 ; John 20:19-31 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Easter 2B April 8 2018 Textweek

Easter Day 1st April 2018

John Shepherd

Easter Day 1st April 2018 webpage
Easter Day 1st April 2018 pdf
Easter Day 1st April 2018 epub
Easter Day 1st April 2018 mp3
Easter Day 1st April 2018 m4a

Numbers 21: 4-9; Psalm 107: 1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2: 1-10; John 3: 14-21 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Lent 4 March 11, 2018 Textweek

The contrast between light and dark is symbolic. For John, those who are in the dark cannot see the truth of God. They cannot experience the reality of God. Those in darkness are theologically blind. When Mary goes to the tomb, to do whatever she can for Jesus, she is still in the dark. She cannot see.

Sometimes we get stuck in the dark, too, and miss the essential truth of Easter.

In the moment of resurrection, humanity is brought back into the light; into full relationship with God, just as it was in the Garden of Eden before the fall. Death is defeated, once and for all.

She’d come to the garden in darkness to care for her beloved dead; to do whatever she could do. But Jesus is not dead any longer. He is Risen! The darkness has been scattered. ‘Where is death’s sting? Where, grave thy victory?’ Jesus is alive and he calls Mary by name. He sends her to bear witness, to proclaim the good news to the remaining disciples.

Jesus is alive. The tomb is empty. Light has driven out darkness. We have been freed to follow Jesus. He is calling us by name. So, as we face the troubles of the world around us, those places where death and darkness are still trying to keep their hold, may our response never be, ‘Well, it’s nothing to do with me. It’s not my fault.’

Good Friday 30 April 2018 3pm Service

John Shepherd

Good Friday Seven Words from the Cross pdf
Good Friday Seven Words from the Cross epub

But forgiveness? Here’s the thing. The model of forgiveness we get from God is that it expects nothing from those who are being forgiven. Forgiveness isn’t limited to those who say they’re sorry. Forgiveness isn’t restricted to those who repent. God’s forgiveness is also for those for whom repentance is furthest from their minds. Those who know not what they do. Forgiveness is undeserved. Unexpected. Unearned. Forgiveness is a miracle.
There’s something else. We are to forgive, but there’s more. We are to forgive our enemies. Forgive those who hate us. Forgive those who curse us. Forgive those who treat us badly, spitefully, unfairly.

God’s forgiveness is free. And within the Church we are to experience that freedom of access, freedom of relationship, freedom of acceptance. And so it is today that we are in paradise. Not tomorrow, after we have filled out the forms, or completed the penance.

Jesus proclaimed a God who was more merciful than the God of the Law, so that, already, today, we can be with him in Paradise.

So at the cross, Jesus adopts the believer into his family as his brother, the son of his mother.
And this believer, the new son, stands for all those who, by a new birth, will now be the off-spring of his mother, and be the church of the future.
The unknown disciple is the future. And Mary accompanies the future away from the cross.
There’s much to be said for the view that the life of the Church begins at this point. The cross wasn’t the end, but the beginning. The beginning of a movement with such a new and vibrant understanding of God as would permanently change the way people related, not just to God, but to each other. It was the beginning of a new life.

Jesus is the total failure. So here’s the person no-one can fear. So he is our Saviour.

He was ‘truly human,’ frail, vulnerable, weak, and, like you and me, susceptible to pain, mental as well as physical. I thirst, the longing of Jesus for believers to come to him, and to the Father. And so we thirst too. We thirst for the living God.

He has said that he must go, so that the Spirit might come.
All that needs to be done, therefore, is for him to surrender his life.

So we commend our spirit to God, without anything to go on except what really matters, and that’s our experience of his love and generosity and forgiveness so far. And this has evolved as a result of our relationship with him as a reality inherent within us, at one with us, suffering and celebrating with us, dealing with us so generously and kindly that, against all the odds that are from time to time pitted against us, we have managed to cope, and have yet survived.

Good Friday 30 April 2018 9am Service

John Shepherd
Good Friday 9 am Service pdf
Good Friday 9am service epub
Good Friday 9 am service mp3
Good Friday 9am service m4a

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 ; Psalm 22 ; Hebrews 10:16-25  ; John 18:1-19:42 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Good Friday March 30, 2018 Textweek

Jesus is alive. The tomb is empty. Light has driven out darkness. We have been freed to follow Jesus. He is calling us by name. So, as we face the troubles of the world around us, those places where death and darkness are still trying to keep their hold, may our response never be, ‘Well, it’s nothing to do with me. It’s not my fault.’

All this is important for us to remember, today. Because it’s what we need to know, if we are to believe in the resurrection – the victory over the power of suffering and death.
We say that Jesus suffered and died for us. This doesn’t mean Jesus suffered and died instead of us, so that we mightn’t have to go through it ourselves. It means that Jesus suffered and died so that we might see how suffering and death can be overcome.
And he gives us the answer by his own example. Which is that suffering and death can be overcome, not being fought against, but by being accepted.

As it was with the Christ, we overcome suffering and death by accepting their full force, and then by transforming them within us by love, for ourselves and for others, so that what could have destroyed us becomes what gives us new life, and a new way of seeing, a new way of appreciating, and a new depth of loving.

In this sense, we can say that the suffering and death of Jesus saves us.
Not by saving us from having to go through suffering and death, but by showing us how it’s possible to suffer and to die with the same expectation that through it all we will experience a new understanding of the power of love to transform, a new dimension to living, a new life, a resurrection from what could diminish us to what could ennoble us.

Palm Sunday Liturgy of the Passion 25 March 2018

John Shepherd
Palm Sunday Liturgy of the Passion webpage
Palm Sunday Liturgy of the Passion 25 March 2018 pdf
Palm Sunday Liturgy of the Passion 25 March 2018 epub
Palm Sunday Liturgy of the Passion 25 March 2018 mp3
Palm Sunday Liturgy of the Passion 25 March 2018 m4a

John Shepherd

Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16 ; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 14:1-15:47 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Palm Sunday Liturgy of the Passion March 25 2018 Textweek

For all that Matthew is carrying on like a pork chop about coming to faith, he says that Jesus is gentle. He won’t force us into faith. He’ll try to persuade us, not to compel us.
Jesus is gentle, not violent. And he shows it, Matthew says, by the way in which he entered Jerusalem. Here is your king, who comes to you in gentleness, riding on an ass. On a foal. On a beast of burden.

For all that Matthew is carrying on like a pork chop about coming to faith, he says that Jesus is gentle. He won’t force us into faith. He’ll try to persuade us, not to compel us.
Jesus is gentle, not violent. And he shows it, Matthew says, by the way in which he entered Jerusalem. Here is your king, who comes to you in gentleness, riding on an ass. On a foal. On a beast of burden.

Fifth Sunday in Lent 18 Mar 2018

John Shepherd
Fifth Sunday in Lent 18 Mar 2018
webpage
Fifth Sunday in Lent 18 Mar 2018 mp3
Fifth Sunday in Lent 18 Mar 2018 m4a

Jeremiah 31:31-34 , Psalm 51:1-12 ,Hebrews 5:5-10, John 12:20-33 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Lent 5 March 18, 2018 Textweek

Fourth Sunday in Lent 11 Mar 2018

John Shepherd
Fourth Sunday in Lent 11 Mar 2018 webpage
Fourth Sunday in Lent 11 Mar 2018 mp3
Fourth Sunday in Lent 11 Mar 2018 m4a

Numbers 21: 4-9; Psalm 107: 1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2: 1-10; John 3: 14-21 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Lent 4 March 11, 2018 Textweek

Third Sunday in Lent 4 Mar 2018

John Shepherd
Third Sunday in Lent 4 Mar 2018 webpage
Third Sunday in Lent 4 Mar 2018 mp3
Third Sunday in Lent 4 Mar 2018 m4a

Exodus 20: 1-17; Psalm 19; 1Corinthians  1:18-25; John 2:13-22 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Lent 3 March 4, 2018 Textweek

Second Sunday in Lent 25 Feb 2018

John Shepherd
Second Sunday in Lent 25 Feb 2018 webpage
Second Sunday in Lent 25 Feb 2018 mp3
Second Sunday in Lent 25 Feb 2018 m4a

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22: 24-32; Romans 4: 13-25; Mark 8: 31-38 Vanderbilt Lectionary
Epiphany 2B February 25, 2018 Textweek

First Sunday in Lent 18 Feb 2018

John Shepherd

First Sunday in Lent 18 Feb 2018 webpage
First Sunday in Lent 18 Feb 2018 mp3
First Sunday in Lent 18 Feb 2018 m4a

Genesis 9: 8-17; Psalm 25: 1-10; 1 Peter 3: 18-22; Mark 1: 9-15 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Lent 1 February 18, 2018 Textweek

Last Sunday after Epiphany/Transfiguration Sunday 11 Feb 2018

John Shepherd

Last Sunday after Epiphany/Transfiguration Sunday 11 Feb 2018 webpage
Last Sunday after Epiphany/Transfiguration Sunday 11 Feb 2018 mp3
Last Sunday after Epiphany/Transfiguration Sunday 11 Feb 2018 m4a


Deuteronomy 18: 15-20; Psalm 111; 1 Corinthians  8: 1-13; Mark 1: 21-28 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Epiphany 4B January 28, 2018 Textweek

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany 4 Feb 2018

John Shepherd
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany 4 Feb 2018 webpage
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany 4 Feb 2018 mp3
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany 4 Feb 2018 m4a

Isaiah 40: 21-31; Psalm 147: 1-11; 1 Corinthians  9: 16-23; Mark 1: 29-39 Vanderbilt Lectionary
Epiphany 5B February 4, 2018 Textweek

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 28 Jan 2018

John Shepherd

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 28 Jan 2018 webpage
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 28 Jan 2018 mp3

Deuteronomy 18: 15-20; Psalm 111; 1 Corinthians  8: 1-13; Mark 1: 21-28 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Epiphany 4B January 28, 2018 Textweek

Third Sunday after Epiphany 21 Jan 2018


Third Sunday after Epiphany 21 Jan 2018
webpage

Jonah 3: 1-10; Psalm 62: 5-12; 1 Corinthians  7: 29-31; Mark 1: 14-20 Vanderbilt Lectionary
Epiphany 3B January 21, 2018 Textweek

Second Sunday after Epiphany 14 Jan 2018

Gareth Hughes

Second Sunday after Epiphany 14 Jan 2018 webpage
Second Sunday after Epiphany 14 Jan 2018
mp3

1 Samuel 3:1-10; Psalm 139: 1-5, 12-18; 1 Corinthians  6: 12-20; John 1: 43-51 Vanderbilt Lectionary
Epiphany 2B January 14, 2018 Textweek

First Sunday after Epiphany/Baptism of Our Lord 7 Jan 2018

Ros Fairless

1st Sunday after Epiphany/Baptism of Our Lord webpage
1st Sunday after Epiphany/Baptism of Our Lord pdf
1st Sunday after Epiphany/Baptism of Our Lord epub
1st Sunday after Epiphany/Baptism of Our Lord
mp3

Genesis 1:1-5   ; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11 Vanderbilt Lectionary
Baptism of Christ B January 7, 2018 Textweek

Welcome to Epiphanytide, a season of mysteries, revelation, light and joy, in which we recognize the divine glory in Jesus’ life and ministry, and in our own.

Today, we celebrate the central mystery: the manifestation of Christ at his baptism, where the heavens are torn apart and the voice of God is heard; where Christ emerges from the swirling waters of chaos into freedom, a new creation; where heaven and earth kiss, and a humanity fully alive to God is revealed.

We are talking about an immersion – not just into water – but also into the Spirit of the living God!

So, whether your baptism was an unforgettable occasion or a beige affair, you and I have experienced what Gerard Manly Hopkins called the “dearest freshness deep down things”, and we cannot ever be the same, no matter how hard we try. In a world that is bleared and smeared with trade, toil, and Trumpery, remembering that is, in itself, a miracle. Today, remember: heaven has kissed earth. Hear God’s voice and take heart: “My son, my daughter, my beloved: I see you, and in you I am well-pleased.

First Sunday after Christmas Eve 31st December 2017

Howard Eaton


First Sunday after Christmas Eve 31st December 2017 webpage
First Sunday after Christmas Eve 31st December 2017 pdf
First Sunday after Christmas Eve 31st December 2017 epub
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Isaiah 61: 10-62.3; Psalm 148; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:22-40 Vanderbilt Lectionary
Christmas 1B December December 31, 2017 Textweek

‘Open up your hearts and let the sun shine in’

Life is fragile:

Enough rocky road to have learnt something

The idea of God, and the experience of the sun shining in = Moving beyond ourself as the “fount of all knowledge” – “ She who knows everything”.- the ultimate reference point of life

Praise is the partner of Sense of there being more.. being open to it, and opening up oneself

Finding the place where we are opened up to something bigger than us which is in fact Gracious/ Merciful/ self Giving / Life Giving

Choosing to be open to praise/placing ourselves in the place where the sun shines in..

Christmas Eve 24th December 2017

Michael Wood

Christmas Eve 24th December 2017 webpage
Christmas Eve 24th December 2017 pdf

As I listen to this poem I imagine Mary and Joseph praying for their newborn son…praying that he might be safe, but knowing that he will be drawn into a future uncradled by them and full of painful and glorious promise, a journey involving:

  • the loneliness of temptations in the desert and the friendship of his disciples who he will call friends;
  • the exile of crucifixion and the homecoming of resurrection
  • the awkward steps of an infant and the confident leaps of an adult, across the landscape of Palestine

In the humanity of Jesus, God transforms the world not through a set of infallible texts, or a book called ‘10 tips for a successful life’; or even a declaration of human rights.

God transforms the world through the incarnation of the true image of God’s self. All God seems to be saying is, ‘look at me….gaze at me…..follow….me…..into the uniqueness of
yourself….a Christ-patterned WORD’. This can sometimes feel like a lonely journey but we do not do it alone. We undertake this journey in the company of others…..fellow travellers…..mentors, fellow outcasts, refugees, poor shepherds…..cheered on by choirs of angels. We are led through the turbulent, and what sometimes feels like despairing, violence of the world by a God who prays for us, and whose prayer carries us even when we are unaware of it.

Fourth Sunday of Advent 24th December 2017

Michael Wood


Fourth Sunday of Advent 24th December 2017 webpage
Fourth Sunday of Advent 24th December 2017 pdf
Fourth Sunday of Advent 24th December 2017 mp3

2 Samuel 7: 1-11, 16; Psalm  89:1-4, 19-27; Romans 16: 25-27; Luke 1: 26-38 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Advent 4B December 24, 2017 November 27, 2017 Textweek

The story is wrestling, from a post-resurrection perspective, with the mystery of who Jesus is and where he came from. In their experience of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the disciples are absolutely clear that two apparently irreconcilable facts are coexisting in the same space and time. (i) Jesus is a flesh and blood human being (ii) In Jesus, they have encountered God – not just a ‘prophet’ speaking the word of God, but they have encountered God face to face. As radical mono-theists, this was quite an emotional and intellectual journey to go on.

Jesus was both fully human and fully divine – and the implications of THAT claim are enormous, revolutionary and dangerous. At the very least it means that we can’t easily separate the transcendent and physical worlds because God uses physical stuff to reveal God’s self. The second main point of the story (and this is even more relevant to each of us) is that God can become fully present in the world only through participation and consent of a human being.

So maybe that is what it was like for Mary. Hearing the whisper of a tune in her ear called Jesus. What whispers have we heard in our lives? What is being whispered now? Are we listening?

Third Sunday of Advent 17th December 2017

Michael Wood
Third Sunday of Advent 17th December 2017 webpage
Third Sunday of Advent 17th December 2017 pdf
Third Sunday of Advent 17th December 2017 mp3

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Psalm 126; 1Thess 5: 12-28; John 1: 6-8, 19-28 Vanderbilt Lectionary

Advent 3B December 17, 2017 November 26, 2017 Textweek

John says of himself, “I am the one who points to the Christ”. John is a highway maker – he’s building a straight path to make it possible for people to return from exile. John is opening up a spiritual way for people (clear out the junk; turn around; pay attention to what God is doing here). It seems to me that what John the Baptist is doing is that he is pointing towards the future. The people questioning John are trying to locate him in relation to the story of the people of God – to see how he fits into THEIR story and THEIR categories. But John won’t do this. He’s just keeps pointing to Jesus and saying that God is doing some spectacularly new here which is going to be way outside their expectations. Looking to the past is not going to be much use to them. In fact they are going to have to entirely re-read their past in the light of this new apocalypse – this great unveiling of ‘things hidden since the foundation of the world’.

We need to read the Bible backwards, from a resurrection future. Christ is the interpretative key. Then we can see clearly what’s going on…..in Christ God is making God’s character clear…as the utterly nonviolent one. God is bringing peace, not by taking God’s vengeance out on us, but by absorbing OUR vengeance on each other and transforming it.

If anyone is IN Christ there is a new creation. We are all being re-created. What we DO – what job we have or don’t have; whether we are a priest, a pilot or a writer, is not really anywhere near as important as what God is doing in us by way of God’s Spirit– which is, day by day, turning us into something rather surprising, which is not bound by the expectations or others, or the categories of the past. We are being formed by Gods’ eternally creative, peace-filled, future. As to what that future might look like? That is the question which we incline towards this Christmas.