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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Give

Perfect for the week between Pentecost Sunday and Trinity Sunday!  And the seven words of Pentecost?  COME, HOLY SPIRIT, AND FILL OUR HEARTS!

"...the forgiveness of sins" (Third Article).

The Gospel, in every way, is about the word give.  It shows up in the central teaching of Christianity: Forgiveness.  And the entire Gospel can be grasped by asking and answering five questions.

1. What (or whom) does the Father give?  Answer: the Son.

2. What does the Son give?  Answer: His life.

3. What (or whom) do the Father and the Son together give?  Answer: the Holy Spirit.

4. What then does the Holy Spirit give?  Answer: Faith, hope, and love into our hearts.  [Faith that sees the cross, hope that sees the resurrection, and love that sees one another and all people.]

5. And finally what does love give?  Answer: Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Now give these five questions a little bit of your time this week, remembering the seven words of the crucified-risen Jesus: "Take heart, child, your sins are forgiven" (Matt. 9:2).

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Advent Never Really Ended

"God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet" (Ps. 47:5).

I chose this verse of Psalm 47 for two reasons: today is the forty-seventh day of Easter, and we are still celebrating Christ's Ascension into Heaven on the fortieth day.

There are forty-nine Easter Days (seven sevens), and so Saturday will be the last.  But as I told my people last evening, Easter doesn't really end.  It just turns into Pentecost.  Pentecost marks the "birthday" of the Church.  The word itself means "fiftieth," because Pentecost and its season follow the forty-nine days of Easter.

Who remembers Advent, the first season of the Church Year, way back in December?  Advent never really ended.  It just turned into Christmas.  Christmas, too, never really ended.  It just turned into Epiphany.  And Epiphany into Lent.  And Lent into Easter.

Soon Easter will turn into Pentecost.  And the seven words of Easter (Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!) will turn into the seven words of Pentecost, to be announced this Sunday!

Until then, Christ is risen!