Monday, April 8, 2013

Readings for Sunday, April 14, 2013

Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen, Indeed!
Grace and Peace in our Risen Savior.

People of Peace United Church, remember to go over to the South Building to check out the remaining items. If there is anything that you would like to keep, either as a memory keepsake or because you can use it, please feel free to claim and take it. There are several items that will still come over to the North Building such as the tables and some office things, but everything else is available.

Also, if anyone has a need for a good used (but not used much over the last four years) copier/printer/scanner for your office or home office, let me know. It may need a little refurbishing due to disuse but it should still be good. A contribution to Peace United Church for the value you think it has would be appreciated.

One last item. I notice in my calendar that today is Yom HaShoah, a day to remember the victims of the Holocaust. The vast majority of victims of the Nazi Regime were the Jews living in Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, France, etc. Many others were also victims including Gypsies, Gays and Lesbians, and people who opposed the Nazis. Please take a moment to remember those victims of the darkest decade of the 20th century. Pray that our world will wake up from the horror of war, violence, and exterminations of other peoples.

We continue our readings in Acts, Revelation, and the Gospel of John this week.

Acts 9:1-6 (7-20) – The first six verses tells the story of Saul’s (later Paul) encounter with Jesus while travelling to Damascus. The optional verses are about a man named Ananias whom God sends to minister Saul. The overall result of Saul’s and Ananias’ encounter with Jesus/God is that Saul begins preaching the Good News. Have you had an encounter with Jesus? What was the result? How were you changed? (Often in the Bible an encounter with God brings change to a person signified by a change in name: Abram/Abraham, Jacob/Israel, Simon/Peter, Saul/Paul.)

Psalm 30 – The Psalmist gives thanks to God for the restoration, renewal of his life. There is an early hint of resurrection in verse 3. One Old Testament theme is reflected in verse 5: God’s anger is brief but God’s favor is forever. The end of the Psalm celebrates new life: mourning changed to dancing and sackcloth replaced with joy.

Revelation 5:11-14 – The lectionary skips a key interpretive passage for Revelation, so I encourage you to read verses 1-10. A scroll needs to be opened but none is worthy to open it. An angel declares that the Lion of Judah (the Old Testament King Saul, a military reference) can do it. John looks and doesn’t see the Lion but he sees the “Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered”. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is the “Lamb who takes away the sin of the world” and Jesus is crucified on the day the lambs are sacrificed for Passover. This Lamb is worthy and that is why the heavenly creatures sing in our assigned verses. The slaughtered Lamb is victorious.

John 21:1-19 – After the appearance of Jesus to the disciples that we read last week, John records one more appearance. Many, though not all, the disciples go back to Galilee and go fishing with Peter but the fishing is not good. Jesus appears on the beach and yells to them to cast the nets on the other side of the boat. They then haul in 153 large fish. Peter, who was fishing naked, recognized Jesus, puts on his robe, jumps in the lake and swims to shore. The others bring the boat to shore. There, Jesus cooks breakfast. Then, starting in verse 15, Jesus has a one on one with Peter and asks him three times if he loves him. Three times Peter says he does. After each response Jesus says: feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep. Many believe that this encounter was to counteract the three time Peter denied Jesus. Peter will become a faithful apostle. How many times are we forgiven?

Have a great week serving the Risen Savior!

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