Fifth Sunday of Easter
Psalm 148, John 13
Lectionary Text for the Fifth Sunday of Easter:
1 Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his host!
3 Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for he commanded and they were created.
6 He established them forever and ever;
he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
13Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his faithful,
for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the LORD!
John 13:31-35: “When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Fifth Sunday of Easter Comment: The contrasting visual and auditory images presented to us in Psalm 148 and that of Jesus with the disciples in the intimate setting of the upper room, make me think of two worlds. In my mind, the flickering lights from tiny terra cotta lamps around Jesus are extinguished by the brilliant radiance of the sun, moon and star-images of Psalm 148. There are the thunderous sounds of crashing waves over against the tone of Jesus’ voice that calmly commanded that all side-bar conversation to cease.
I must admit I gave into the thought that prompted me to look up the definition of ‘two worlds,” a “parallel universe.” Wikipedia gave the shortest definition. A “Parallel universe or alternative reality is a self-contained separate reality, coexisting with one's own…A universe where the very laws of nature are different – for example, one in which there are no relativistic limitations and the speed of light can be exceeded.”
The concept and belief of a “parallel world” or “another world” is the fodder of myth and legend, of fiction, science fiction and traditional science. “Another world” belief inspired the works of Lewis Carol’s “Through the looking Glass” (Alice in Wonderland) and the “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis. In the movie, “The Wizard of Oz” the song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” sung Judy Garland, made her a star. How many of us read comic books like Superman, from Krypton and other superheroes travelling from one dimension to another? Last, but not least, science through the mathematical proposition and equation of “string theory” attempts to prove the existence of parallel worlds.
There two other interesting features of “parallel words.” First, there are ports of entry between the worlds. Second, time travel is faster than it is in our universe. The main characters mentioned in the above stories, entered “other worlds” through a ‘looking glass’, a ‘wardrobe’ and a ‘tornado’. Their adventures, which seemed like an eternity, lasted only one night. The ‘wormhole’ is the name physics contributes to the idea of inter-dimensional travel.
On the night before Jesus died, he prepared his disciples to live in this world after his departure back to heaven. Jesus gave the command, “…love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
In John 14, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit from heaven to be with and empower all believers to love each other. What does love do? Love does what no ‘portal’ or ‘wormhole’ could ever do! Love unites two worlds in an instant when we pray, “Our Father…Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When heaven connects with earth, it is because love has reconciled relationships. A disciples does more than ‘co- coexist’ with a grieving soul, he or she loves a wounded heart whole. When disciples love by giving a kind word, a listening ear, a gentle touch, an encouraging word or a needed hug, the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.
As disciples of Jesus let us join the angels, the moon and stars, the mountains and hills in tumultuous praise, hallelujah! hallelujah! hallelujah!
Because of Resurrection Life,
©April 29, 2010
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