Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Readings for May 20, 2012

I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s day with either your children or your mother or both. This week we are honoring our graduates and we have 3 who are matriculating from Long Prairie Grey Eagle High School: Tyler Mollner (PUC), Lesley Roe (GEUMC), and Sara Roe (GEUMC). We wish them the best as they pursue further education, jobs and/or careers this summer, fall, and beyond.

There is one prayer request for this week. Josh Johnson, who is a nephew of Darryl Bruder (a member of GEUMC), is the married father of four and the co-owner of Riverside Meats between Pillsbury and Swanville. On Sunday afternoon his smokehouse exploded while he was near or in it. Josh suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his back, hands, arms, parts of his face and one ear. He is at one of the hospitals in Minneapolis (HCMC?). Becky, wife of Darryl, asks that we all pray for his healing.

This is our last week in the first letter of John, next to the last week in Acts, and we have two more readings in the Gospel of John following this Sunday.

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 – We jump back to the beginning of Acts. Jesus has been lifted up to heaven and the disciples are without direction. In our reading, the disciples choose some one to replace Judas (the verses that are skipped are about Judas’ gruesome death) to bring their ranks back to twelve. What were the qualifications for the new disciple? Who were nominated? What was their prayer? How did they choose? It was generally believed that God controlled the outcome of everything so rolling the dice to choose someone was an acceptable way. Would you roll the dice to choose someone for such an important position?

Psalm 1 – In short: the righteous who follow the law of the Lord shall prosper and the way of the wicked will perish. How are the righteous described; what are they like?

1 John 5:9-13 – I think the summary of the entire letter of 1 John occurs in verse 12: “The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have God’s Son does not have life.” Verse 13 is John’s reason for writing: so that we might have _______________ (fill in the blank). Doesn’t this remind you of that famous verse from the Gospel of John, “For God so loved . . .” If you want a true puzzler or head scratcher read verses 16 and 17. What do you think might be “the sin that results in death”? Or, is there a sin that God cannot or will not forgive? I don’t think anyone has come up with a satisfying explanation.

John 17:6-19 – John 17 is Jesus’ prayer to God just before he is arrested. The chapter is divided up into three readings over 3 years to be read in each lectionary year. Verses 1-5 in Year A; our verses in Year B; and 20-26 in Year C. They are also divided into the subject matter of Jesus’ prayer: about his glory in doing God’s will; for his disciples; and for future disciples. What is the relationship between Jesus and God? What has God given Jesus? What has Jesus given to the disciples? What has he done for them? In Chapter 18, verse 31, Pilate asks Jesus, “What is truth?” In Jesus’ prayer this week, what is the answer to that question? What is Jesus’ request to God about the disciples?

Have a great week loving God and serving your neighbors. According to 1 John, they are the one and the same.

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