New Revised Standard Version
Scripture Summary 2nd Sunday of Easter – Year B (April 8)
Acts 4:32-35: The early followers of Jesus immediately showed the effects of following a risen Saviour. Their lives manifested great power and grace. Their words brought salvation to many. Their deeds were like living beatitudes. Each one in the community was cared for and all were of a common mind and heart.
Psalm 133: The Psalmist chronicles the joy that happens when we are able to live together in harmony. It is like a king being anointed; like a priest being consecrated. It is like the beauty of nature early in the morning when dew waters the landscape. And where does this shalom come from. It comes from the Lord.
I John 1:1-2:2 In Here John witnesses to what has happened because of Jesus Christ. His witness is trustworthy because he was with the original disciples and saw the resurrected Christ. He writes so that all people will have the opportunity to believe. The message is that God is light and our friendship with Him is based on this light shining in us. This means acknowledging our sins and not trying to hide them. We don't have to fear this, however, as God will forgive us and not let darkness continue to dwell in us.
John 20:19-31: It is now evening on Resurrection Day. Jesus appears to his disciples and gives them an awesome new assignment. It is a task that is so daunting that it can only be fulfilled in the power of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately Thomas is not present when Jesus appears. Jesus makes a special visit for Thomas, and gives a blessing to all of us who have believed in him without seeing him. The writer of John tells us that he had many more stories that he could have shared; but these were written down so that we all might believe and be given life in Jesus' name.
Scripture Summary 3rd Sunday of Easter – Year B (April 15)
Acts 3:12-19: Throughout the Easter season we continue with our reading in the book of Acts, showing the events of the early church – the new Easter people. Peter, often so impetuous in the gospels, has now become a confident, Spirit filled leader. He has healed a man in the power of Jesus' name. Here he articulates the gospel message to the crowd that witnessed the miracle. He lifts up the risen Jesus Christ and calls his listeners to repentance and new life.
Psalm 4: This David Psalm is a plea for rescue from his enemies. He cries to God for assistance. Then he rebukes his foes for their false lifestyles. He pleads with God not only for himself, but for all who suffer because of the duplicity of others. By verse 7/8 his fear and anxiety is lessened and he can rest and sleep, knowing that God will take care of him.
I John 3:16-24: Here the beloved disciple John gives us a glimpse into our new identity in Christ. Right now we can count ourselves as children of God. And for the future? We can't even describe how wonderful that will be when we see Jesus face to face. In the meantime we keep short accounts with sin and live in the righteousness that is found in Jesus Christ.
Luke 24:36b-48: The Easter post-Resurrection stories centred around Jesus' physical appearances to his followers. He was not a ghost, and this was not “wish-full” thinking on the part of the apostles. Jesus shows them his wounds from the cross. He invites them to touch him. He asks for fish to eat. It's broiled (not fried or baked) – hardly a detail that would be needed if these were just mythical stories. He gave the disciples new understanding into Scriptures. Their confidence and joy in the midst of the coming opposition and persecution was because of the certainty of what they had seen.
Scripture Summary 4th Sunday of Easter – Year B (April 22)
Acts 4:5-12: John and Peter stand before the court, accused of healing a man in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Peter, now filled with the Holy Spirit, no longer denies Jesus, but gives a bold defense of the gospel. Peter sees Jesus as the Saviour of the entire world. His name will bring salvation to all who call upon him.
Psalm 23: This is probably the most famous of all the Psalms. David's image of the Lord as our shepherd appeals to our need for security and serenity. David undoubtedly used his own care for his flocks as a basis for his poetry. From still water to darkest valley, the Shepherd will provide and protect in all circumstances. Maybe this week would be a good opportunity to ponder this psalm before you begin each day. This morning we will sing one of the many well known hymn tunes for this psalm, rather than saying it.
1 John 3:16-24: Again John tells us of the One who laid down his life for us. We now have his holy spirit in us, so we too are called to lay down our lives for each other. We do this by sharing our worldly good with those in need. Our faith results in deeds, not just in spoken words. We have assurance of our salvation because of our obedience to God, and because of his Spirit that abides within us.
John 10: 11-18: Here we are shown that Jesus is our Good Shepherd. He too protects us in all circumstances. He loves us so much that he will laid down his life for us. He does this willingly. Jesus tells us that He knows us, but we also will know him. He has many sheep – an early picture of the spread of the gospel to all peoples and tribes.
Scripture Summary 5th Sunday of Easter – Year B (April 29)
Acts 8:26-40: A The Spirit immediately begins to direct the apostles to people who are ready to hear the call of God. Philip quickly goes where the Spirit leads (away from a thriving ministry, and out into the wilderness). An Ethiopian court official is making his way back to his home country through this wilderness. He is pouring over the Hebrew Scripture about “one who is led to the slaughter, a lamb silent before its shearer”. Philip explains the good news of Jesus from this passage, the man believes and is baptized. This is the first African convert that is named in the New Testament.
Psalm 22:25-31: In this section of Psalm 22 David sings of a time when all who seek God will find God. They will remember his deeds and turn to God in worship. Past generation, future generations, all nations are included in this joyous worship. This will happen because God has dominion and brings deliverance to all.
I John 4:7-21: The new kingdom that Jesus initiated with his death and resurrection is to be one that is characterized by love. God is love and that love is revealed to us by Jesus being sent into the world. If we have God's spirit, we too will live in love. This love casts out any fear that we might have, as fear is linked to punishment. If we say we love God, but hate our brothers and sisters, we are lying. We must abide in God, that God's love will fill our hearts. We love because he first loved us.
John 15:1-8: In this part of Jesus' final discourse with his disciples, He tells them that He is the true vine. The vineyard was a common metaphor in Hebrew Scripture for the Israelite nation. Here Jesus hints that all fulfillment of Scripture is in him – the true Israelite. If we are to bear fruit for the kingdom of God we must continue to abide in Him. This will be accomplished when the Holy Spirit is given to all believers. Apart from him, we cannot accomplish any thing lasting for the kingdom.