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Year A, Easter 3, 2017 – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

April 26, 2017 / Molly Douthett / Easter

Greetings!!  Welcome back to the podcast! Today we are finishing up Peter’s Pentecost sermon in Acts 2 and seeing what effect it has on the people gathered in Jerusalem for the feast. Usually we preachers jump immediately to the end where 3000 people are received into membership by baptism, and we try really hard not to compare our own ministries to this standard. And we usually fail. At any rate, the numbers are not what is important (really, it’s not) but rather the change of heart that the people who hear this first sermon on the Resurrection experience. That’s the difference, and in the selection from 1 Peter for today, the author stresses this fact for his readers. It’s about the turning over of your lives to the God who is powerful and gracious enough to raise Jesus from the dead. And speaking of the resurrected Jesus, he goes for a lovely walk to Emmaus with some of his disciples and surprises them at dinner when they recognize the act of breaking bread. Where had they seen that before? Was it by the lake with 5000 other people, or in an upper room – oh, my goodness!

This week’s texts are:  

Acts 2:14a, 36-41 [02:00]  

Talking about repentance is sorta tough; it’s difficult to get people to sit back down once you’ve said the word sometimes, so in MATH smart, we have an illustration and special effect that uses a compass and a magnet. This will engage some of your congregation who like experiments and hands on demonstrations of science. For BODY smart, we look at the response of the people gathered in Jerusalem who are cut to the heart by Peter’s sermon. With some illustrations, we look at how negative language can influence brain development in pre-teens and show a NOVA clip about heart surgery. In PEOPLE smart, we talk about Pentecost itself as a feast in the Jewish calendar – why not look at it like a reunion? And for SELF smart, we suggest carrying around some quotations for a week and meditating on them while going about our daily lives. 


1 Peter 1:17-23  [12:28] 

The author of Peter’s letters warns readers that if they are to call on the Father who judges all impartially, they need to be prepared to live lives in proper perspective to God. In EYE smart, we look at how that impartiality might seem from God’s point of view. Peter writes that there is a balance in following Jesus, and in BODY smart, we have some illustrations of what that balance might be like – simple and delicate and solid – all at the same time! This balance leads to a purification, and in NATURE smart, we look at how metals are refined and purified using electrolysis. In SELF smart, we provide some illustrations that might be helpful for cleansing one’s soul.


Luke 24:13-35  [20:07] 

This story is so popular and well known that there is an entire movement that bears its name; the Walk to Emmaus. In WORD smart, we share a haiku about the moment at the table when the disciples’ eyes were opened. I like it and encourage you to try your hand at your own! The travel to Emmaus relates to spatial distances, so in EYE smart, we posted a thought by Bob Eldan (link below) who wonders if Emmaus is an actual place or simply somewhere to go when we need to be away. Which made us think of Southwest Airlines! People have wondered for two millennia why these disciples didn’t “see” Jesus and why their hearts burned within them as they talked. We have a theory in MATH smart, and in NATURE smart, as well! Finally, in PEOPLE smart, we have a reader’s theater that dramatizes the story. 


Image credit: Copyright: shaiith / 123RF Stock Photo. Used by permission.

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