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Sermons by “Vicar Paul Eldred”

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Goodbyes are a difficult thing for me. Knowing it may be a while until I see friends and loved ones again is never easy.

In my family, it’s also not uncommon for goodbyes to last close a really long time – once we start saying goodbye, we keep talking and talking. It sometimes takes three or four goodbyes before someone finally leaves. I remember the first time Ryan experienced this phenomena after dinner at my aunt’s house. It was late and we needed to head home, so I said, “Well I guess we should get going.” Everyone agreed – we said goodbye and Ryan got up and put his coat on. Then my cousin started another conversation. About fifteen minutes later, I again said it was time to go with a second round of goodbyes. Ryan moved closer to the door as someone else started yet another conversation. Exasperated, Ryan finally sat down again and we were there for another twenty minutes. Finally, the third time took and we left about 45 minutes after Ryan had first put on his coat. As we got in the car, Ryan asked why it took so long to leave – I looked at him confused and laughed, “That’s just how my family says goodbye!”…

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Third Sunday of Easter

Jesus is dead. We saw him die.
Ok, we didn’t see him die, but some of the others did. He had been talking about his death for a while. It made some of us pretty uncomfortable…

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Good Friday

For three years, Jesus spent his ministry challenging authority. He spent time with the outcast and the marginalized – ate with them, healed them, walked with them, loved them. He faced those who were in power – criticized corruption, subverted oppressive structures, advocated for religious reforms, and challenged the Roman Empire itself. He inspired many and threatened many. His was a message of love and a vision of justice for all people. But this message threatened those in power so much that they decided to execute him. They took this man of hope and killed him as an enemy of the state and threat to the peace of Rome. On this night we remember how God came to us bringing love and justice for all people and it was so offensive to this world that we literally wanted to kill God With Us by nailing Jesus to a cross. It’s enough to leave us feeling hopeless – feeble – alone…

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