First Lesson: Acts 1: 15-17; 21-26
Epistle: 1 John 5: 9-13
Gospel: John 17: 6 - 19
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
1. Acts 1: 15-17, 21-26
The reading from Acts today comprises the first sermon that Peter preaches to a crowd of about one hundred twenty people (about how many come to a 10:30 AM service at St. Andrew’s!). The focus of this sermon seems to be upon the necessity of choosing a disciple to replace Judas Iscariot. In a portion of the reading not included in this section, Peter references two verses from Psalms that he believes refer to Judas, the second of which reads “Let another take his position of overseer” (Psalm 109:8). Do you agree with how Peter is using the psalm here? Do you believe the author of the psalm intended the psalm to be used this way?
2. Psalm 1
The first psalm introduces the rest of the book as a book about the way of the righteous, who are devoted to God’s instruction, and the ultimate downfall of the wicked, who do not attend to God or God’s way. The author suggests that the wicked lack any foundation and blow any way the wind chooses, in contradiction to the righteous that are planted firmly in the ground. Do you agree with this understanding? How does this apply to your life?
3. 1 John 5: 9-13
Much of our readings from this letter have focused on the idea of love. Today’s excerpt from 1 John changes the subject a bit with a focus on the gift of eternal life given to us through Jesus. Have you ever thought about the relationship between love and eternal life? What do they have in common, and would you consider loving a person an experience of eternal life?
4. John 17: 6 - 19
Jesus says in verse 16, “they do not belong in the world, just as I do not belong to the world.” This verse, and others like it, suggests that the Christian community for whom John was written seemed to have felt alienated from the world. The conflict that they had with the authorities in the synagogue convinced them that the world hated them and that Jesus did not belong to the world. Despite this, they, like Jesus, are sent in to the world. When the author uses the phrase “the world,” it does not refer to the creation as much as it does to the human world that rejected God. How are we to engage the world?
Every Thursday at 10:15 AM
St. Andrew's House at 1811 Heights Boulevard