Orthodox Easter. A tradition in the Greek church is to dye eggs red on Friday, and eat them on Easter Sunday – Pascha. Orthodox use the Julian Calendar
Also Cinco de Mayo – NOT Mexican Independence Day, but the day of the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Mexican Independence day is September 16, 1810. Mexican Independence Day is an important patriotic holiday in Mexico. Cinco de Mayo is a regional holiday, but in America has become a sort of Mexican Heritage Day, much like St. Patrick’s Day. The Battle of Puebla was a battle between during the French Occupation of Mexico. French forces occupied Mexico in the aftermath of the Mexican-American war in the 1840s. The battle was not a significant strategic victory, as French forces indeed captured Mexico City a few years later. They occupied Mexico for about three years before Napoleon III retreated. Mexico reclaimed their independence on June 5, 1867. From its start, Cinco de Mayo was more widely celebrated in the United States, and this has only become more true in recent decades as Cinco de Mayo has been co-opted by commercial entities (especially beer companies), much like Saint Patrick’s Day.
Primary scripture John 5:1-9 or John 14:23-29
The lectionary gives us a choice between John 5:1-9, Jesus healing at Bethsaida, or John 14:23-29, more of the farewell discourse, this time talking about the Holy Spirit that is to come.
John 5:1-9 – Jesus heals a man at the pool of Bethsaida
1. Half the story
a. The lection leaves out verses 10-18. In so doing, the story is purely a miracle story. In he second half of the story, a controversy emerges from Jesus healing on the Sabbath.
2. The man never asks for healing
a. Healing power not contingent on faith
b. “God helps those who helps themselves” not in the Bible – goes directly against this story.
John 14:23-29 – continuation of the farewell discourse and the promise of the Spirit
1. Continuation of the farewell discourse
a. Worldly and Spiritual levels
2. Include verse 22 from Judas – question of Judas is important 1.
a. Us vs. them- the chosen vs. the world
b. Jesus answer undermines the question
3. Indwelling of the Spirit- God dwelling within, not the future state but a current active state
a. Reminds me of Rev. 21
b. The need for a home- the synagogue is no longer a spiritual home
c. New words, new home for the faithful
4. Farewell discourse
a. Just as Jesus is reunited with the Father, the church will be united with the Spirit
b. Spirit – teach and remind of Jesus
c. "Jesus is one who sees a person open to salvation when the world sees only Zacchaeus, a conniving tax collector. Jesus is one who sees a foundation for the church when the world sees only Peter, a man of flimsy faith. Jesus is one who sees someone who can reclaim a pure life, when the world sees only a woman caught in adultery. What does Jesus see when he looks at me?
F. Belton Joyner Jr. - Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary - Feasting on the Word – Year C, Volume 2: Lent through Eastertide.
5. Don’t be afraid, you will not be alone, when you love I am with you.
a. My peace I give to you
Secondary Scripture – Acts 16:9-25 The conversion of Lydia and her household
1. The call of God is not specific
a. Apostolic – going to the people, not waiting for them to come to you.
b. Be open to the calling of the spirit- being open to new ways – even women
2. Lydia the first European Christian?
3. Willimon, in Interpretation Commentary points to three things to remember:
a. Conversion is the work of God, not Paul
b. Lydia was a woman.
i. Lifting up the importance of a woman convert is consistent with Luke/Acts narrative, which highlights the role of women (women were the first evangelists at the tomb, )
ii. Reminder of the radical treatment of women in the Greco-Roman world. This is a liberating movement for women, despite some mixed-messages in other “Pauline” writings. The fact there was struggle with women’s rights shows how radical the teachings really were.
c. Lydia was Rich
i. Evidence of class mixing, not class warfare
ii. Very unusual for Rome where classes did not mix
4. Lydia is a home church?
a. Not apostolic
b. Reaching out to a new thing- open to new people, ways to see God
5. Purple paraments – honor Lydia- purple decorations
TY: Opening music, Dick Dale and the Deltones, “Misirlou”
TY: Closing music, Paul and Storm, “Oh No”
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