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Resources for the 7th Sunday of Easter
St. Thomas Day - St. Thomas, the Doubter

"I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word."

John 17:20

 


 Closing Prayer
(based on the Epistle Lesson)

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.  The one who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon."  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.



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Sermons
 

 

Children's Messages

 

Sermon Excerpt

God of Relationship
based on John 17:20-26
Rev. Karen Goltz

            All four gospels are primarily concerned with telling the story of Jesus, telling about his life, his death, and his resurrection.  All four of them have that in common.  But all four of them are telling that story for very different reasons.

            Mark’s gospel is believed to be the first gospel, written about forty years after Jesus’ death.  Its original audience was a group of Christians who were also solidly within the Jewish community.  In their very recent past, like within the last ten years or so, Jews had revolted against Roman rule, only to have Jerusalem sacked and the Temple destroyed.  This community still understood Jesus to be the Messiah, the savior, but they had to rethink what exactly that meant.  Up until then they’d believed that the Messiah was an apocalyptic figure, who would bring about the end of the world as they knew it, overthrow their Roman oppressors, and restore the nation of Israel to her original, political glory.  With the failure of the Jewish revolt, they were beginning to understand that the Messiah brought about salvation in a different way, in a spiritual, transformative way that was rooted in Jesus as the suffering servant described in Isaiah.  So Mark’s gospel was written to help people better understand what kind of Messiah Jesus really was.

            Matthew’s gospel was written about ten years or so after Mark, and the concern for the community then was figuring out the position of the Christian church within Israel.  Christians were still mostly Jews, though on the fringes of Judaism. . . .  Subscribers: click here for the full manuscript.
    

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