Sunday, March 31, 2013: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Book of Isaiah (65:17-25)


I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord— and their descendants as well. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.


> Renewing the existing world – not a new one.

> Long, happy, and prosperous life – hope and strength.

> The 100-year-old is labeled a youth!

> Their prayers will be answered even as they are praying.

> Idealized picture of the new creation.

> Some parallels with the book of Revelation and other scriptures.



Psalm (118:1-2, 14-24)


1   Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; *

     his mercy endures for ever.

2   Let Israel now proclaim, *

      “His mercy endures for ever.”

14  The Lord is my strength and my song, *

       and he has become my salvation.

15  There is a sound of exultation and victory *

       in the tents of the righteous:

16 “The right hand of the Lord has triumphed! *

       the right hand of the Lord is exalted!

the right hand of the Lord has triumphed!”

17  I shall not die, but live, *

      and declare the works of the Lord.

18  The Lord has punished me sorely, *

       but he did not hand me over to death.

19  Open for me the gates of righteousness; *

      I will enter them;

      I will offer thanks to the Lord.

20  “This is the gate of the Lord; *

       he who is righteous may enter.”

21  I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *

       and have become my salvation.

22   The same stone which the builders rejected *

        has become the chief cornerstone.

23   This is the Lord’s doing, *

       and it is marvelous in our eyes.

24   On this day the Lord has acted; *

       we will rejoice and be glad in it.


> Praises God for the great things he has done.

> An individual has been delivered for some type of suffering.

> The individual is leading the congregation into the gates of the temple.




A Reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians (15:19-26)


If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.  But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.  For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.  But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.  Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.


> Transformation of the world.

> Turn over to the kingdom of God.


The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to John (20:1-18)


Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.  He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.


> Focal point is on Mary Magdalene.

> In John’s version, she is the only one who came.

> Jesus does not appear to the disciples until Easter evening.

> Tradition of story telling is used to bring out the meaning of something.

> Each Gospel has a different version of the story.

> Jesus appears to Mary but she does not recognize him.

> “Don’t keep holding onto me” is the Greek translation.

> Jesus is on his way to the Father on Easter Day.

> There is a change in relationship:  “My God and your God.”