Happy middle of May and our blessings offered to those serving on Active Duty in the Military on Armed Forces Sunday. We pray those who are affiliated with our Parish who are serving are safe and healthy this weekend. Today was a fine Sunday, even discounting the inversion which led to fog over the Nansemond River – the church proper is in full splendor this season. The trees have put out leaves and the chestnut will flower in the next few days. In this time of isolation it brings melancholy that I can’t follow the blooming cycle of the chestnut more closely. But, that is a small price to pay for safety.

We “gathered” for worship for the 9th consecutive Sunday on YouTube live and introduced the prayer for Spiritual Communion as part of worship. It was fitting considering the tenor of our lessons and worship today. The Psalm reminds us that God hears us when we call and will not reject our prayers or withdraw God’s love for us simply because. In First Peter we heard the call to do what is right and if we “pay” for doing right then that is a blessing; but God doesn’t inflict punishment to reward us – simply that punishment is not without merit. John’s gospel this morning stressed the importance of love and looking for the Advocate to lead us and guide us. Today’s sermon focused on Paul’s evangelism of Athens at the Aeropagus and how he provides a model to evangelize; to know what the “other” believes and how God can be found in what they believe. Part of our mission going forward into the “new normal” will be to share the life-giving story of God present in our present experience.

How are you moved today? I invite your comments and likes,

Readings: Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:7-18; 1 Peter 3: 13-22; John 14:15-21

Video of May 17 worship: https://youtu.be/YUGYPUq4SF4

Listen at: https://soundcloud.com/st-johns-chuckatuck/evangelism-is-not-a-bad-word-sermon-from-the-6th-sunday-of-easter