Sermon Notes- May 6, 2012

Year B- 5th Sunday of Easter

Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 22:25-31 (UMH 752)
1 John 4:7-21
John 15:1-8

The Vine and the Branches from the Gospel is a great passage to preach.  I will be using materials from my D.S. and friend, Ken Carter.  Check out these Bible Study Notes- Bearing Fruit and an article that is more recent, not as detailed: Fruitfulness for Others

  • The Acts reading is a powerful Easter text–the Baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch.  Philip crosses some thresholds with this one…the cultural, racial and religious norms of the Jewish people of the first century. Baptism is a rite for all and not reserved for a special few.  The Church needs to recover this notion of riding in someone else’s chariot and be willing to be the guide and teacher of the mysteries.  We need to be able to ride with the “unclean” and the different to participate in what God is already doing.
  • The theme continues in the Psalm, all people, all nations, all families, even the unborn are to be included in this Kingdom that God is shaping.
  • The Epistle continues the teachings of LOVE.  Love for each other within the community of faith, love for others.  How can we ever hope to love the other if we can’t figure out how to love each other?  A powerful lesson for sure.  I will probably use it as complimentary to the Gospel text.
  • The Gospel makes sense to me…I come from a farming and gardening background.  It is hard to put into practice in a casual way, but if you are a serious farmer, you know that pruning and trimming is key to sustained growth.  Keeping the fruit close to the main vine/branch is key to a good grape or apple.  It is also true for growing disciples.  The closer to the Vine, the stronger the fruit.
  • Pruning Time from ekklesia project
  • A Love Song for God’s Vineyard (John R. Donahue)
  • A practical piece on Fruitfulness from Bishop Robert Schnase


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