Latest Episodes

Year B, Easter 2, 2018 – It’s Resurrection Time

March 27, 2018 / Molly Douthett / Easter

He is Risen! As mainline and lifelong church goers, David and I are accustomed to this traditional Easter greeting. About 20 years ago, good friends of ours added the phrase “rock and roll” to the end of it, and we all laughed and laughed and opened another bottle of wine as we gathered for post-worship cookouts. Good times! Anyway, the startling effect of this phrase has lost some of it’s juice. For those of us long steeped in the story, these words are shorthand. But what if we were to do something unpredictable and counter cultural with this reality – like say, sell our houses and all move in together (Acts 4)? People would say we were nuts or communists, but we would say that what we have seen and what we have heard (1 John 1) has convinced us the resurrection is real (John 20) and has power to overcome any kind of fear and even to make us generous. What would people call us then? I think Jesus would call us blessed. 

This week’s texts are:

Acts 4:32-35 [01:59]

The first reading for the next six weeks will come from the book of Acts. Although it got cut from the show for time, we started off this selection with a really dumb joke told poorly by me. Whoops. I had the essence of the joke in my head, it just didn’t come out well! The first community had the essence of generous and dynamic living handed down to them from various writings that may have been familiar to them, which we talk about in WORD smart. This unusual way of living together has garnered much speculation and controversy about how they managed it and for how long. That there was an equal distribution of wealth seems to really confuse some people. In MATH smart, we present an article and a graph that shows how wealth is distributed in the world as of three years ago. It’s quite different from the way these folks in Acts were living. For MUSIC smart, we have a poem by Wendell Berry that explores the unexpected way of living in response to resurrection. We sort of pushed NATURE smart onto this passage with two articles that suggest exposure to the beauty and wonder of the natural world leads people to be more open and giving. For PEOPLE smart, I read a quote from an author at the Christian Century about the effect living in community may have on those around us. Finally, SELF smart encourages individuals to consider their financial assets in Jesus’ balance sheet.

  • Smarts – Word [03:04], Math [04:22], Music [05:43], Nature [06:55], People [08:25], Self [11:31]
  • Acts 4 worksheet
  • Links in Acts


1 John 1:1-2:2 [12:22]

The first verse of this passage made me think of Harry Truman and Mark Twain but much to my surprise, the motto on Missouri license plates – the “Show Me State” – is attributed to a US Representative I’d never heard of before! We think this could be a good EYE illustration and for a special effect, shine a bright lantern in the room. We put the idea of witnessing something in MATH smart where the timing between seeing an event and talking about it makes testimony more confident and accurate. Also for MATH smart, Jesus is an advocate before God on our behalf which pings on legal issues – and chemical bonds. Jesus was incarnate and his resurrection in the body puts eyes, ears, hands, feet, hearts, and minds on the ministry of his disciples. We have some illustrations of embodied ministry in BODY smart. We have two wildly popular songs as MUSIC smart illustrations. For PEOPLE smart illustrations, we talk about relationships where someone acts as an advocate, or when you talk about someone you love. 

  • Smarts – Eye [14:31], Math [16:31], Body [20:06], Music [21:50], People [23:14]
  • 1 John 1 worksheet
  • Links in 1 John 
    • EYE smart – 
      • “Show Me” is the unofficial motto of the US state of Missouri. The phrase is credited to U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver.
    • MATH smart –
      • A study in Houston, TX, suggests that the timing of eyewitness testimony plays a huge factor in accuracy.
      • In either ionic or covalent bonding, atoms of different types either share or redistribute electrons to produce stable valence states.
      • Watch the “Floating Card” experiment in this video. It uses the surface tension of water.
    • BODY smart –
      • The idiomatic phrase “flesh and blood” has shades of meaning, but primarily one of embodiment.
    • MUSIC smart –


John 20:19-31 [24:30]

It’s time – once again – to roll out the story of Thomas refusing to trust the tall tales of the other disciples without some concrete evidence. So, Jesus returns a week after his first appearance greets them with peace. We have an idea for a special effect in WORD smart using a literal translation. For an illustration, show how John breaks the fourth wall and use our similar examples. In EYE smart, we have some ideas for special effects that play with expectations and the astonishment we experience when something happens to upset that apple cart. Jesus breathes on the disciples which is a BODY smart element, as is the physical sensation of loosing and binding sins. Our illustration in MUSIC smart doesn’t entirely fit the hard definition of poetry, but the essay we link to has a rhythm to it, vivid images, and questions that linger; seems poetic to me! And finally, for PEOPLE smart, illustrate Thomas’ difficulty believing the others with the situations we suggest. 

ALSO: Explore our earlier episodes on this passage from Year A and Year C.



Image Credit: Copyright: varts / 123RF Stock Photo. Used by permission.


Tags: , ,

Comments are currently closed.

%d bloggers like this: