This Sunday, the fourth Sunday in the Easter Season for those of us following the RCL, continues the story of the formation of the early church as told in the Book of Acts. This week we have Peter branding out beyond the “norms” of Jewish members in the church to the uncircumcised Gentiles. It’s radical, and shifts the idea of membership in the church to baptism, which is open to all who so desire and learn the ways of following Jesus. But then the Gospel of John takes us back to the night of the last supper, before the crucifixion and resurrection, pointing toward what is to come…which ultimately is what we hear in the reading from Acts – a radical shift in understanding of who belongs. Everyone belongs. Everyone.
We live ins challenging times. Times in which some vocal people in the USA are trying to return us to a time before, to take us back 50 years. Before the civil rights movement. Before efforts for women’s equality. Before Roe V. Wade. Before women had the right to determine our own health care needs. Before efforts to bring equality to LGBTQ+ people. Before. As if it will be possible to actually go backward. All efforts will have consequences and people will be harmed, but ultimately they will fail. Because going backward is like the disciples hiding in the upper room instead of out in the world living into the radical transformation of whole and equality, justice and mercy, that God desires. Desires because that is the work of Jesus and the work that the disciples manage to create in the early church.
I am not sure where my homily will go on Sunday. Maybe you have some clear ideas? Regardless, we are here to share ideas, offer support, pray for one another.
Pull up a chair, grab a mug, I have lots of coffee and plenty of time. Let’s party!
The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski is an Episcopal priest serving a parish in Dearborn, Michigan. She’s been a member of RevGalBlogPals since 2006 and blogs at Seeking Authentic Voice.
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