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A Little Bit at a Time

Peace be with you
Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104:1,24,29-30,31,34; I Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13; John 20:19-23

Sermon Week Pentecost Sunday Cycle B

Scripture Summary John 20:19

Perhaps some of you remember the story of King Henry and Queen Eleanor of England. They loved each other dearly. As young persons, they enjoyed life together with great passion and delight. But, as the years went by, things changed. Finally, King Henry locked up his Queen in the Tower. Christmas came, and Henry granted Eleanor permission to leave the Tower and be with him for the day. But when they met, they brandished knives at one another, each wanting to destroy the other. Then one of them grew pensive and asked, "How, from where we were, did we get to where we are now?" To which the other replied, "A little bit at a time."

From our early childhood, most of us have been told that God is Love, that God loves us, that God loves everybody. We believe Jesus was God in the flesh, that Jesus and the Father are One, that what Jesus taught came from the Father. We believe that Jesus taught "peace" as a way of life, that the peacemakers would be called the children of God, and that Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers." And yet, we seem so ready and willing to conform to a system that lavishes its resources on preparing for war and waging war. How did we get to where we are today? I suppose, just the same as those war-torn generations that preceded us: "A little bit at a time."

The religious history of humanity tells us that in those times when the spark grows dim -- when all manner of evil obscures hope for peace and brotherhood, God raises His most formidable prophets. The strongest, loudest, most profound voices of hope always seem to emerge in times of greatest disaster. We live in a time when hope for lasting peace and brotherhood seems an unattainable ideal. Let us pray, therefore, that God will raise formidable prophets for our time.

In today's Gospel Lesson, it is the evening of the first Easter, and Jesus' disciples are huddled behind closed doors, fearing for their lives. Jesus had been executed. Would they [...]

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