June ~ 2014
June 1 – Ascension Sunday
Acts 1.1-11 (NRSV)
In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of [God]. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the [Holy One] has set…8But you will receive power when the holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, “[People] of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Matthew 28.16-20 (NRSV)
16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they [venerated] him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
June 8 – Pentecost
Moses said, “…I wish that all of God’s people were prophets and that God’s spirit would be upon them!”
The Wisdom of Kahlil Gibran
“I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are children of one religion, and it is the spirit.”
The Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh
“The holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove, penetrated him deeply, and he revealed the manifestation of the holy Spirit. Jesus healed whatever he touched. With the holy Spirit in him, his power as a healer transformed many people…I [feel] that all of us also have the seed of the holy Spirit in us, the capacity of healing, transforming, and loving. When we touch that seed, we are able to touch God…”
Acts 2.1-4 (NIV)
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in [new ways] as the Spirit enabled them.
John 7.37-39 (NIV)
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive…
June 15 – Trinity Sunday
The Wisdom of Peter Lombard
“When the mind knows itself and loves itself, there remains a trinity, that is the mind, love and knowledge.”
The Wisdom of Julian of Norwich
I saw no difference between God and our substance, but saw it as if it were all God. And yet my understanding accepted the fact that our substance is in God; that is to say that God is God and our substance is a creature in God. For the Almighty Truth of the Trinity is our father, for God made us and preserves us in God’s self; the deep wisdom of the Trinity is our mother, in whom we are enclosed; [and] the lofty goodness of the Trinity is our Lord, in whom we are enclosed and our Lord in us.
19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Creator, the Christ, and the holy Spirit.
June 22 – Pride Sunday
Psalm 13.2b-3, 5-6
How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3 Look on me and answer, Oh my God. 5 I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6 I will sing my God’s praise, for God has been good to me.
The Wisdom of Soulforce Founder, Rev. Dr. Mel White
As you may know, biblical ignorance is an epidemic in the United States. A study quoted by [the late] Rev. Peter Gomes…found that 38% of Americans polled were certain that the Old Testament was written a few years after Jesus’ death. 10% believed Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. Many even thought the epistles were the wives of the apostles.
This same kind of biblical ignorance is all too present around the topic of homosexuality. Often people who love and trust [Scripture] have never given careful and prayerful attention to what the bible does or doesn’t say about homosexuality. For example, many Christians don’t know that:
Jesus says nothing about same-sex behavior.
The Jewish prophets are silent about homosexuality.
Only six or seven of the bible’s one million verses refer to same-sex behavior in any way and NONE of these verse refer to homosexual orientation as it’s understood today.
Most people who are certain they know what the bible says about homosexuality don’t know where the verses that reference same-sex behavior can be found. They haven’t read them, let alone studied them carefully. They don’t know the original meaning of the words in Hebrew or Greek. And they haven’t tried to understand the historical context in which those words were written. Yet the assumption that the bible condemns homosexuality is passed down from generation to generation with very little personal study or research. The consequences of this misinformation are disastrous, not only for God’s gay and lesbian children, but for the entire church.
Matthew 10.40-42 (NIV)
40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
June 29 – 8th Sunday After Pentecost
Isaiah 52.7 (New American Bible)
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of one who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying…’Your God [reigns]!’”
The Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh
“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.”
Matthew 14.22-31 (New Jerusalem Bible)
22 At once Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he sent the crowds away. 23 After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 while the boat, by now some furlongs from land, was hard pressed by rough waves, for there was a head-wind. 25 In the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea, 26 and when the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.27 But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.’28 It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ 29 Jesus said, ‘Come.’ Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, 30 but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord,’ he cried, ‘save me!’ 31 Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘You have so little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’