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|Hey iTrust! 13 May 2012|
This coming Sunday is the Sixth Sunday of Easter (13 May 2012). It also happens to be Mother’s Day in the U.S., so don’t forget your mother!
Sorry this is so late this week, time got away from me. We’re still watching Chariots of Fire, and will be for another few weeks.
Once again, after Chariots 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 10:34 –48
Gentiles Hear the Good News
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles
While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
Second Lesson – 1 John 5:1 –8
Overcoming the World
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.
Gospel Lesson – John 15:9 –17
Love One Another
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 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. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
The Lord Jesus Is with His Church in the Apostolic Ministry of the Gospel
The crucified and risen Lord Jesus is with His Church through the word of His Apostles, who “are witnesses of all that He did.” He was anointed by God “with the Holy Spirit and with power” and “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil,” and so He was with those whom He sent “to preach to the people” (Acts 10:38 –42). The Holy Spirit is bestowed on those who hear that apostolic preaching, who are “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,” so that “everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name” (Acts 10:43 –44, 48). For as He came by the water of His Baptism, even to the blood of His Passion, so the Spirit testifies to the truth with “the water and the blood” in the apostolic ministry of the Gospel (1 John 5:6 –7). By these means, Christ Jesus speaks to us, that His joy may be in us and that our “joy may be full.” For this purpose He appointed the Apostles to “go and bear fruit,” in order to make known His divine friendship to us (John 15:11 , 15–16).
See you in iTrust!