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Seventh (7th) Sunday of Easter

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"Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one."   John 17:11
 

Texts & Discussion:
Acts 1:6-14
Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
John 17:1-11

  


 

 
Watch And Pray!
Hope Amid Suffering
Christ Intercedes for Us
Christian Unity

   
 

Sermons:

 

 

Children's Sermons:

 

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Sermon Excerpt

You say hello, I say goodbye,
Acts 1:6-14,
John 17:20-26
by F. Schaefer, T. Hall

....We've said good byes in our life and none of them were easy. We wonder where the years went.  But there he is--a kid who one moment was fighting with his brother and the next going off to Penn State. So stand bravely in the driveway.  She raises her hand and says, "you'll be home next week-end, right?" And they both say good bye.   Somewhere else two people come to say good bye. Their relationship just isn't going anywhere. They go our on some dates, but as the weeks are swallowed by seasons, they realize it's over.  Time to say good bye.  Not just farewell to the movies and lunches and shopping and games.   But really good bye to a presence and a quality that will never completely be recovered.  Saying good bye is hard.

Something deep down in us resists the move from presence to absence.  When someone is present to us, our space is filled, we are not alone.  There is conversation and communion. When someone leaves us, there is crisis.  Absence means silence--lonely, gaping silence.

One thing is for sure--we had better get accustomed to bidding farewell. Life is a series of leave-takings, movement from presence to absence. Carly Simon sings, "Nobody ever stays in one place anymore. You say hello, but I say good-bye."

We honestly need God when it comes to hellos and good-byes.  Our faith used to be embodied in words like the English, "good-bye, the Spanish "adios" the French "adieu."  They all imply that when we part--in that moment between here and not here, between presence and absence, we'd best give so me one to God when we can no longer hold them ourselves.  Good-bye means God be with you.

So it is that we find a group of disciples this morning caught hearing a good-bye from the Leader who it seemed only months before had said hello.  Jesus has finished his job and now returns to heaven. The story wasn't supposed to go like this.     Everything within the disciples, everything they had been taught, had convinced them that Jesus was supposed to stay. The Messiah they knew was to reign on earth. Thy will be done on earth . . . .

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