Sunday, May 13, 2012: “Today’s Scripture Readings”

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (10:44-48)


While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.


> Peter had a vision in Jaffa to go to Caesaria-Maritima and meet there with the Roman, Cornelius.

> Up to this point, everyone thought that Jesus was just the jewish messiah.

> The Spirit came and was poured out to the Gentiles as well, indicating Jesus came for everyone.

> Why should the Gentiles be prevented from being baptized, since they also received the Spirit?

> The early practice was to baptize only in the name of Jesus.  Later it was the Trinity.

> Peter was chastised by the Jews for baptizing non-Jews.



Psalm 98


1  Sing to the Lord a new song, *

    for he has done marvelous things.

2  With his right hand and his holy arm *

    has he won for himself the victory.

3  The Lord has made known his victory; *

    his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the  nations.

4  He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, *

    and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

5  Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands; *

    lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing.

6  Sing to the Lord with the harp,*

    with the harp and the voice of song.

7  With trumpets and the sound of the horn *

    shout with joy before the King, the Lord.

8  Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it, *

    the lands and those who dwell therein.

9  Let the rivers clap their hands, *

    and let the hills ring out with joy before the Lord,

when he comes to judge the earth.

10  In righteousness shall he judge the world *

and the peoples with equity.


> Something new is going on… the unexpected.

> The next verses describe some Israeli victory.

> Calls upon all others to praise God.



 A Reading from First Letter of John (5:1-6)


Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.


> Cyclical style of writing – back and forth with themes.

> Born – commandments – conquer the world 


The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to John (15:9-17)


Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father has loved me, so I have 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. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”


> The word “love” is used nine times and the word “friend” is used five times!

> Repeats the theme over and over in different ways

> The thrust of Christianity as John envisions it.