Word for the Week and the Theme for Easter

Word for the Week

Sunday, May 21, 2017 Sixth Sunday of Easter Introduction

Jesus does not leave his followers orphaned. Through the Holy Spirit Jesus comes to abide with his disciples of every generation. As Pentecost draws near, we are reminded that the risen Christ dwells in us as the Spirit of truth. We receive this Spirit in baptism and pray that in our gathering around the Lord’s table the Spirit will transform us to be the body of the risen Christ in the world.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

First Reading: Acts 17:22-31

In Athens, Paul faces the challenge of proclaiming the gospel to Greeks who know nothing of either Jewish or Christian tradition. He proclaims that the “unknown god” whom they worship is the true Lord of heaven and earth who will judge the world with justice through Jesus, whom God has raised from the dead.

Psalm: Psalm 66:8-20

Bless our God, you peoples; let the sound of praise be heard. (Ps. 66:8)

Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-22

Christians have a zeal for doing what is right in God’s eyes no matter what the circumstances because in baptism we are saved and made alive. Thus our Christian beliefs and behavior are to be a matter of public record just as our baptism is.

Gospel: John 14:15-21

In final words to his disciples on the night of his arrest, Jesus encourages obedience to his commandments and speaks of the Spirit, who will be with them forever.

Theme for the Easter season (April 16th – June 4th)

Jesus the Lamb –
endured persecution, suffering, and death on a cross, sacrificing himself for us all

Jesus the Savior –
was raised from the dead, forever breaking the chains of sin and death

Jesus the Shepherd –
calls us, finds us, and leads us back into the fold

God’s abundant love is revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and triumphant resurrection shatters all chains, opens all doors, and reveals an endless realm of possibilities.

The gate is open!

There is hope in all things. There will always be a light shining in the darkness. No matter how far we stray, we will be led back.  No matter how lost we are, the Shepherd will find us. Our fears and doubts and questions no longer have control. Regardless of any danger that surrounds us, we will be protected.  We are not alone, and there is nothing we cannot do with Christ by our side.

Friends –
Rejoice and Be Glad!
God’s love has opened the Gate!

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