Proper 6, Year B, Church of the Redeemer, Shelbyville

“We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).

Faith is a funny word, because it has two different but related meanings. First, there is faith as content, the “what” of what we believe. In this way, we in the church talk about the “articles of faith”: the affirmations we make about the things we believe. So, for instance, in a little while we’ll say together the Nicene Creed, an ancient summary of Christian … Read more

Proper 5, Year B, Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Fayetteville

“Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).

Signs of mortality: I’ve noticed that with each increasing year, there are more of them for me. Feet, teeth, eyes, ears: a host of niggling issues for one who generally has little to complain about. Not that I’m complaining, mind you: just taking note (as St. Paul does in our reading today) of the common … Read more

Trinity Sunday, Year B, Trinity Parish, Clarksville

“When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:15-16).

Perhaps you’ve heard the joke about the rabbi who’s crossing the street in front of the church when he’s hit by a car. A priest inside hears the commotion and rushes out to lend assistance. He goes to the man, perhaps near death, and not knowing that he’s a rabbi, asks him … Read more

Feast of Pentecost, Year B, Church of the Resurrection, Franklin

“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf” (Jo. 15:26).

The Easter season truly ends with a bang: an explosion of life and energy on the feast of Pentecost, the church’s celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Our reading from Acts tells the story of how the church was gathered in Jerusalem after Jesus’ … Read more

Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B, St. George’s Church, Nashville

“As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (Jo. 17:18).

The celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead can’t be contained by a single day: it’s too mind-bending, life-changing, awe-inspiring, to be checked off quickly on a calendar before moving on. So, the church gives us the Easter season: fifty days, concluding with Pentecost (next week), in which to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ death and … Read more

Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B, St. Paul’s Church, Murfreesboro

“You are my friends if you do what I command you” (Jo. 15:14).

Part of the genius of the Easter Season, the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost, is the time it gives us to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The season is modeled on the chronology in St. Luke’s Gospel and Acts, where the risen Lord spends time with the disciples after the resurrection, but there’s actually even more involved … Read more

The Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B, Church of St. Mark and St. Paul on the Mountain, Sewanee

“Abide in me, as I abide in you” (Jo. 15:4).

Easter is a season, not a day. Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead at Passover time, but the church takes a longer season afterward to reflect on the event. St. Luke’s chronology, in his Gospel and Acts, suggests a time in which the risen Lord was present with the disciples. “After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, … Read more

Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Easter, St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School

“I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness” (Jo. 12:46).

The difference between night and day is exactly that: a proverbial expression of contrast; as in, “the two of them were as different as night and day.” In order to paint a picture, our language draws on one of the most immediate and obvious contrasts from the natural world, one that we’re … Read more

Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B, Church of the Good Shepherd, Brentwood

“I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again” (Jo. 10:18).

Jesus lays out, in our Gospel today, the great theme of the Easter season: that is, life overcoming death. The theme of life triumphant is repeated over and over again, in the course of the season: in the empty tomb, in the resurrection appearances, and in Jesus’ exaltation to the right hand of God. These events don’t … Read more

Third Sunday of Easter, Year B, St. Paul’s Church, Franklin

“You are witnesses of these things” (Lk. 24:48).

There are two parts to being a witness, in the New Testament sense: first, there’s the event that you experience; second, the testimony that you offer. We can think about it in terms of the witness stand: what brings you to court is an event that you witness. It’s not hearsay: something someone else told you about. You saw or heard something; you may be a bystander … Read more