Last updated on May 15th, 2020
April 19, 2020 – Second Sunday of Easter
Radio Devotion (in German): [PDF] – prepared by Vicar Caroline Raddatz
We continue our celebration of the resurrection on this second Sunday in the Easter season. This week, Vicar Adam McComb provides a reflection for us along with prayers, scripture, and blessings from the many members of Martin Luther Church.
Worship Service (in English): [PDF] – Vicar Adam McComb
On Sunday April 19th at 11:00 am, take some time to chat after enjoying our online worship. Vicar Adam McComb will be hosting a time to catch up with each other and discuss any questions that came out of the sermon.
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The lectionary readings for April 19, 2020 are: Acts 2:14a, 22-32, Psalm 16, 1 Peter 1:3-9, John 20:19-31
Acts 2:14a, 22-32
2:14a But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them,
2:22 “You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to 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-
2:23 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.
2:24 But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.
2:25 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;
2:26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope.
2:27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption.
2:28 You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
2:29 “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.
2:30 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.
2:31 Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, ‘He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.’
2:32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.
16:1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
16:2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
16:3 As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight.
16:4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips.
16:5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
16:6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.
16:7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
16:8 I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.
16:10 For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit.
16:11 You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
20:19 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.”
20:20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
20:22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Greetings, Here we are together again on the Second Sunday of Easter at the end of the Octave of Easter or Eastertide. This Sunday is also called White Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, I know it as Low Sunday, likely the clearest name is Thomas Sunday used by our Eastern brethren.
The name for Sunday, this season, and even the liturgical colours used are very different from place to place, church to church, and now house to house, rich and fascinating differences. The reason for the season, however, the unifier is a constant, imperishable, undefiled, unfading, indescribable, power, wonder, blessed, he is Peace, to borrow from each of our readings today we are not going to delve into the debate of the dates and authors of these texts, we can argue about dates and doubt after at 11 am during coffee chat and sermon discussion with the link provided below. When introducing our unifier, our Christ, I used some of the attributes and adjectives used in all of our readings, Acts, First Peter, and the Gospel of our Lord according to John which our lectionary has placed in that order which is chronological order.
2. First Peter
3. The Gospel of John
I know it sounds like an aggressive feat of theological acrobatics to try and pull all three together, but we are going to do it, friends. Not doubting Thomas in this crowd. As I spent time with these readings that is not what I heard, not what the spirit wanted me to see, to experience. I found myself in the reading from John, I could see myself there, in the third reading and last book to be written, it brings together all the things we heard of God throughout our readings, and it brings us to The upper room, There is a feeling of the important gathers that happened there, the plans made, the joy exchanged,
The last supper, to us Eucharist…. But that was BEFORE We read… it was the same day that the empty tomb was discovered by Mary Magdalene the Doors are locked it says for fear of the Jews, for fear of those just outside the door. You can sense their emotions, imagine their hurried conversations, retracing every detail, No news coming in and then too much news coming in hurried conversations, speculations, misinterpretations and fear. Some short tempers, frustrations, fears, a lack of clarity all exacerbated by closeness isolation.
Sadly that is where I found myself in this story, our story, maybe you do too, here in a big room it could be any room, thinking of the times and moments shared, but that was BEFORE
Now Self Isolating with and from my colleagues and others who couldn’t go home, Isolating form the world fearful who or what might come through the door and bring with them an unseen agent of harm doubtful it will ever be normal again it is no news and too much news, on tv, on our phones, streaming at us all day.
Hurried conversations, speculations, misinterpretations, and fear-mongering. The anxiety it that room must have been building, as we made our way through our readings, we can sense that,
But HOPE was also building, unexpectedly somewhere, it was building. We learned;
God is always at my right hand
God Will NOT abandon me (FOCUS ON THAT TERM)
God Makes known the ways of life
God Makes me full of gladness
From our psalm we learned;
God is our refuge
My Good above all other
My portion and my cup
From 1st Peter we learned God;
Has given new birth
Knowing this, in John 20 we read Jesus enters the locked room, his people stand there;
That’s the way I saw them, that’s what I read, but to Christ, they were not any of those things, they were;
He would have seen the anxiety, but he fed into the hope and he delivers the Holy Spirit to them, to US, the sustainer, in our midst.
Just like those in the upper room, who were; Hopeful, Expectant, There gathered
The gift of the Holy Spirit means we should be; Hopeful, Expectant, Not gathered though!!!
The Word enlivened by the Spirit allows us to confidently say I will not be shaken. My flesh will live in hope, God is loving, at work, and our refuge.
We are so similar to those in the upper room, there will be doubt, some fear, and likely some short tempers and disagreements in this time but I pray I always know and listen for the stirring of the Spirit, with whom I am truly hopeful and expectant, even when we can’t be gathered, and I pray you are too.