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This Sunday we as the church will celebrate Pentecost. According to Acts 2, on Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples like tongues of fire and inspired them to speak in different languages, so that the crowds that had gathered in Jerusalem each heard the good news of Jesus in their own language.

Perhaps no other words are so misused by churches than when Jesus says in John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Too many preachers use this as an exclusive claim for Christianity: Accept Jesus, or go to hell!

Psalm 23 is one of the best-beloved Scriptural passages. Most funerals I perform use the psalm. For those who use the lectionary, we encounter it several times each year, including this fourth Sunday of Easter, which (not surprisingly) is known as Good Shepherd Sunday.