Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Readings for Sunday, May 8, 2011

Our Gospel reading switches to Luke this week but we will be back in John the following 5 Sundays. We also continue reading in Acts and 1 Peter.

Acts 2:14a, 36-41 (42) – This story records the reaction of the crowd who listened to Peter on Pentecost. “What should we do?” they asked. “Repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” said Peter. That day 3000 were baptized. The lectionary leaves off verse 42 but it is part of the crowd’s reaction to the preaching and the gift of the Holy Spirit. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (This is 4 things: study, fellowship, communion (or dinner), and prayers.)

Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 – This reading, without verses 3 and 4, was part of the lectionary on Maundy Thursday. The psalmist who is encompassed by death is saved by God. Verses 12-19 is about giving back to God in gratitude.

1 Peter 1:17-23 (24-25) – This is an interesting if confusing passage. If we believe that God judges us by what we do then (the world’s way) we need to live in fear. However, Peter says, we have been saved from the world’s ways by the blood of Christ. Since we have been made clean (purified) we now obey the truth and have genuine love. We have been born anew by the word of God. That word is the gospel.

Luke 24:13-35 – This is the familiar story of two disciples, one named Cleopas and the other unnamed, walking to Emmaus on Resurrection Sunday and being joined by a stranger who interprets the events of the preceding days to them. When they reach their destination the two invite the stranger into stay with them. At the dinner table, the stranger took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the two disciples. In this action (compare to verse 22:19) the stranger was recognized as Jesus. Most commentators assume that both disciples were men but this is not clearly supported by the text. Jesus was invited to stay with them and shared a meal with them in their house. I think that the unnamed disciple was the wife of Cleopas and I believe that the text supports this.

Christ Is Risen! Christ is Risen, Indeed!

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