2018-19 RCL-C Sixth Sunday of Easter
Additional Resources for Proclamation & Preaching
Easter 06: May 26, 2019 • Gospel Text: John 14:23-29
Forgive Offenses Willingly
Proclamation for Today
by Rev. Dr. Clint Schnekloth
Jesus’ prayer in the gospel of John circles around and around expressing the perichoretic relationship between God, Jesus, and the Spirit. And it does so not only to articulate a Trinitarian theology, but to also indicate how God and the world “fit” together in a transformative fashion.
“So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.” (Seamus Heaney)
Let’s attempt to bring together the Trinitarian theology of this passage, and the action of God “making-right,” that is, forgiving.
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you (14:26). “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf” (15:26). “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” (16:13).
Christ’s Farewell Discourse has its Sitz im Lebenin the life of the congregation as it learns how it is related to the Father through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Discourse emphasizes the inseparable unity of these three, and yet delineates their various relational modes. As all three of these passages declare, the Spirit will never perform these tasks unless it proceeds from the Father and speaks the Word it has heard. It is here that the church comes to “the way, the truth, and the life,” the sure and enduring marks of God’s triune activity in the world.
But the texts also speak to and correct a given community. They indicate that the Holy Spirit in particular will make things right, straighten them up, forgive them. Anthony Thisleton in his New Horizons in Hermeneutics calls this notion the “world-to-word direction of fit.” “Tthe transforming effects on the world of the words of Jesus are seen not only in the role of promise and self-involving confession, but also in the divison, conflict, and verdictive force which they inevitably bring.” Thus, the words of Jesus present in the Johannine text have powerful, transforming implications for the world as we know it. These speak first of all to the believing community, and guide that community in how to believe. And as Thisleton later notes, these implications take a decidedly trinitarian direction. “In the post-resurrection era the word of Jesus, who is the truth (14:6), will be mediated through the Spirit of truth (16:13). The Paraclete will speak truth in Christ’s name’ (14:26); but will speak on this basis in ways that will bring about world-to-word transformation.”
Hope for a great sea change on the far side of revenge. Believe that further shore is reachable from here. Believe in miracles and cures and healing wells. Which is to say, trust the forgiving power of Christ’s Word alive in the Holy Spirit.
The following links and resources are not produced or maintained by RCL Worship Resources or Clergy Stuff. However, at the time of this posting, the links were active and considered to be good source material for proclamation for the text for this week. Please scroll down or click on the quick jump menu you find below. Click here for more free RCL worship resources & planning materials.
Historical Exegetical Resources
"Spirit Under Trial," The Jesus Database, an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus. Dr. Gregory C. Jenks, FaithFutures Foundation.
"The Comforter," John 14:26, Charles H. Spurgeon, 1855
"The Courage of Easter People," Lindsay Popper, Day 1, 2016.
"Taking Care of the Moment," Easter VI (Rogate), 16 May 2004, David Zersen, Goettinger Predigten.
"God's Spirit: Enabling US to Be Who We Are," the Rev. Dr. Isaiah Jones, Day 1, 2001.
"The Father Is Still Living In Me," Pastor Edward F. Markquart, Grace Lutheran Church, Seattle, Washington.
The Truett Pulpit, Dr. Paul Simpson Duke, Co-Pastor, First Baptist Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2016.
Pulpit Fiction, podcast. Reflections of lectionary text, pop culture, current events, etc. Robb Mc Coy and Eric Fistler, 2013
Holy Textures, Understanding the Bible in its own time and in ours, John 14:23-29, David Ewart, 2013
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Dramatic Reading of the Text
Readers: Narrator, Jesus
Narrator: Jesus answered him,
Jesus: “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.”