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May 19, 2024:

Pentecost

Scriptures NRSV-A:

 

The Pentecost Reading: Acts 2:1-13

in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ 13 But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’   [NRSV-A]

 

The Epistle Reading: Romans 8:22-27

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. [NRSV-A]

 

Psalm 104:1-4 using Hymn “Praise to the Lord” CP 384

1        Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!

          O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!

          All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;

          Praise Him in glad adoration.

 

2        Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,

          Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!

          Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been

          in what He ordaineth?

 

3        Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;

          Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.

          Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,

          If with His love He befriend thee.

 

4        Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!

          All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.

          Let the Amen sound from His people again,

          Gladly for aye we adore Him.

 

          Text Joachim Neander (1650-1680)

 

The Holy Gospel: John 15:26-27, 16:12-15

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. 27 You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.

16:12 ‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 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. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.   [NRSV-A]

May 12, 2024:

Sunday after Ascension Day

Scriptures NRSV-A:

 

First Reading: Acts 1:1-11

1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 

7 He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ 

9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’    [NRSV-A]

 

The Psalm: Psalm 93

1        The Lord is king; he has put on splendid apparel; *

                   the Lord has put on his apparel and girded himself                           with strength.

2       He has made the whole world so sure *

                   that it cannot be moved;

3       Ever since the world began, your throne has been                           established; *

                   you are from everlasting.

4       The waters have lifted up, O Lord, the waters have     lifted up their voice; *

                   the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.

5       Mightier than the sound of many waters, mightier than the   breakers of the sea, *

                   mightier is the Lord who dwells on high.

6       Your testimonies are very sure, *

                        and holiness adorns your house, O Lord,

 

Second Reading: Ephesians 1:15-23

15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20 God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.    [NRSV-A]

 

The Gospel: Luke 24:44-53

44 [Jesus] said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 

45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’

50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.    [NRSV-A]

May 5, 2024:

6th Sunday of Easter

Scriptures NRSV-A:

 

First Reading: Acts 10:44-48 (Pew Bible page 895)

44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, 47 ‘Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ 48 So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.  [NRSV-A]

 

The Psalm: Psalm 98

1           Sing to the Lord a new song, *

for he has done marvellous things.

2          With his right hand and his holy arm *

has he won for himself the victory.

3          The Lord has made known his victory; *

his righteousness has he openly shown in

the sight of the nations.

4          He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to

the house of Israel, *

and all the ends of the earth have seen the

victory of our God.

5          Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands; *

lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing.

6          Sing to the Lord with the harp, *

with the harp and the voice of song.

7          With trumpets and the sound of the horn *

shout with joy before the King, the Lord.

8          Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, *

the lands and those who dwell therein.

9          Let the rivers clap their hands, *

and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord,

when he comes to judge the earth.

10        In righteousness shall he judge the world *

and the peoples with equity.

 

Second Reading: 1 John 5:1-6 (Pew Bible p. 991)

 1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. 5 Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

6 This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.  [NRSV-A]

 

The Gospel: John 15:9-17 (Pew Bible p. 878)

9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.  [NRSV-A]

April 21, 2024:

4th  Sunday of Easter

Scriptures NRSV-A:

 

First Reading: Acts 4:5-12  (Pew Bible page 887)

5 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11 This Jesus is “the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.”

12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’ [NRSV-A]

 

The Psalm: Psalm 23

1           The Lord is my shepherd; *

I shall not be in want.

2          He makes me lie down in green pastures *

and leads me beside still waters.

3          He revives my soul *

and guides me along right pathways for his name’s sake.

4          Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of  death, I shall fear no evil; *

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5          You spread a table before me in the presence of those

 who trouble me; *

you have anointed my head with oil,

and my cup is running over.

6          Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all    the days of my life, *

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

 

Second Reading: 1 John 3:16-24 (Pew Bible page 990)

16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17 How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

[NRSV-A]

 

The Gospel: John 10:11-18     (Pew Bible page 872)

11 ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’ [NRSV-A]

April 14, 2024:

3rd Sunday of Easter

Scriptures NRSV-A:

 

First Reading: Acts 3:12-19 (Pew Bible page 887)

12 When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, ‘You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.

17 ‘And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, [NRSV-A]

 

The Psalm: Psalm 4 (BAS page 707)

1           Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *

you set me free when I am hard-pressed;

have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

2          “You mortals, how long will you dishonour my glory; *

how long will you worship dumb idols

and run after false gods?”

3          Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; *

when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.

4          Tremble, then, and do not sin; *

speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.

5          Offer the appointed sacrifices *

and put your trust in the Lord.

6          Many are saying,

“Oh, that we might see better times!” *

Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.

7          You have put gladness in my heart, *

more than when grain and wine and oil increase.

8          I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *

for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

 

Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-7 (Pew Bible page 990)

1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3 And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

4 Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.  [NRSV-A]

 

The Gospel: Luke 24:36b-48

36b Jesus himself stood among the disciples and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.

44 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.  [NRSV-A]

April 7, 2024:

2nd Sunday of Easter

Scriptures NRSV-A:

 

First Reading: Acts 4:32-35 (Pew Bible page 888)

32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35 They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.  [NRSV-A]

 

The Psalm: Psalm 133 (BAS page 890)

1           Oh, how good and pleasant it is, *

when brethren live together in unity!

2          It is like fine oil upon the head *

that runs down upon the beard,

3          Upon the beard of Aaron, *

and runs down upon the collar of his robe.

4          It is like the dew of Hermon *

that falls upon the hills of Zion.

5          For there the Lord has ordained the blessing: *

life for evermore.

 

Second Reading: 1 John 1:1-2:2 (Pew Bible page 989)

1 We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— 3 we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; 7 but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.  [NRSV-A]

 

The Gospel: John 20:19-31 (Pew Bible page 883)

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ 27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ 28 Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 29 Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. [NRSV-A]

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