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|Hey iTrust! 29 Apr 2012|
Sorry this is a little late this week. This coming Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Easter (29 April 2012).
Just another ten minutes or so of the documentary on the life of Eric Liddell, then we start the Oscar-winning movie, Chariots of Fire. That’ll take us a few weeks, probably into late May.
Remember, after that we’ll watch a video series called “Is the Bible Reliable? – Building the Historical Case.” That will be followed by a series called “Does God Exist? – Building the Scientific Case.” Dr. Dale Brant will join us for this last one, adding commentary along the way. When we complete our look at support for God’s existence from the scientific data, Dr. Brant will spend a few additional weeks reviewing the other classical arguments for the existence of God, with particular attention to the objections raised by the so-called “New Atheists” (i.e., Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, etc.).
Here are the Scripture readings (lectionary) for this coming week, plus the summary note of how they tie together. We always encourage you to read the weekly Scriptures before you get to church. We think you’ll find that valuable!
First Lesson – Acts 4:1 –12
Peter and John Before the Council
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Second Lesson – 1 John 3:16 –24
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
Gospel Lesson – John 10:11 –18
The Good Shepherd
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, Lays Down His Life for the Sheep
The Lord Jesus is “the Good Shepherd” who “lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:11 ). His life is not taken from Him, but He lays it down willingly, of His own accord, because He knows and loves the sheep. As the One sent by the Father, He has the “authority to lay it down,” and the “authority to take it up again” (John 10:18 ). So has He done, and now He continues to love and serve as the Good Shepherd of the sheep by the voice of His Gospel. He thus calls all people into the fold of His Church, so that there may be “one flock, one Shepherd” (John 10:16 ). That is why the Apostles “were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:2 ). Since “there is salvation in no one else,” His voice rings out to this day through the preaching of His name, “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 ). His voice comforts our hearts against all condemnation and gives us courage to “love one another” and “to lay down our lives for the brothers,” as He laid down His life for us (1 John 3:16 , 23).
See you in iTrust!