Sunday, April 27, 2014: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (2:14a, 22-32)


Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed (the crowd), “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know—this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, ‘He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.’ This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.”


> The Sunday after Easter is known as “Low Sunday.”

> This was also the time for putting aside white baptismal robes for those baptized on Easter.

> Part of Pentecost – speaking to a Jewish audience.

> Celebrates the spring harvest.

> Luke’s approach:  Jesus died because the world rejected him, but God overcame and raised him up.

> Supporting verses also found in Psalm (15:8-11) and Psalm (16:10).

> Sermon on the resurrection after the Spirit comes on Pentecost.



Psalm 16


1  Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; *

    I have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord,

    my good above all other.”

2  All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, *

    upon those who are noble among the people.

3  But those who run after other gods *

    shall have their troubles multiplied.

4  Their libations of blood I will not offer, *

    nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.

5  O Lord, you are my portion and my cup; *

     it is you who uphold my lot.

6  My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; *

    indeed, I have a goodly heritage.

7   I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; *

     my heart teaches me, night after night.

8   I have set the Lord always before me; *

     because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.

9   My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; *

     my body also shall rest in hope.

10 For you will not abandon me to the grave, *

     nor let your holy one see the Pit.

11 You will show me the path of life; *

      in your presence there is fullness of joy,

      and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.


> “God is my everything” is the prevailing theme of this Psalm.

> An overwhelming confidence and joy in God.

>In Hebrew, literally the kidneys are rejoicing” — that’s where you conscience lies.

> Your heart is where you did your thinking.



A Reading from the First Letter of Peter (1:3-9)


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.


> In Year A the letter of Peter is used.  It celebrates the victory of God and has baptismal themes.

> Peter himself probably did not write this as it was most likely written later in the first century.

> The original Greek language did not structure the words in sentences.

> Highlighted the idea of new birth and baptism with the Easter seasons.

> Even though you have not seen him, you believe in him — ties in with the Gospel.



John (20:19-31)


When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.


> Continuation from last week’s Gospel reading.

> It is still Easter Day.  In John the resurrection and the gift of the Spirit happen on the same day.

> Jesus is the same “only different.” 

> People do not recognize him and he can pass through closed doors.

> The mission of Jesus is handed off to the disciples.

> This is a new creation as the Spirit breathes new life into them.

> This is the only place in the Bible that mentions the nails used on Jesus to tie him to the cross.

> These verses set up the idea of faith with the example of Thomas — believe without seeing.