Eleventh Day of Easter   9 comments


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Light in the Darkness

April 19, 2023


Acts 5:12-26 (Revised English Bible):

Many signs and wonders were done among the people by the apostles.  All the believers used to meet by common consent in Solomon’s Portico, no one from outside their number ventured to join them, yet people in general spoke highly of them.  An ever-increasing number of men and women who believed in the Lord were added to their ranks.  As a result the sick were carried out into the streets and laid there on beds and stretchers, so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on one or another as he passed by; and the people from the towns round Jerusalem flocked in, bringing those who were ill, or harassed by unclean spirits, and all were cured.

Then the high priest and his colleagues, the Sadducean party, were goaded by jealousy to arrest the apostles and put them in official custody.  But during the night, an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, led them out, and said,

Go, stand in the temple and tell the people all about this new life.

Accordingly they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.

When the high priest arrived with his colleagues they summoned the Sanhedrin, the full Council of the Israelite nation, and sent to the jail for the prisoners.  The officers who went to the prison failed to find them there, so they returned and reported,

We found the jail securely locked at every point, with the wardens at their posts by the doors, but on opening them we found no one inside.

When they heard this, the controller of the temple and the chief priests were at a loss to know what could have become of them, until someone came and reported:

The men you put in prison are standing in the temple teaching the people.

Then the controller went off with the officers and fetched them, but without use of force, for being stoned by the people.

Psalm 34:1-8 (Revised English Bible):

I shall bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall ever be on my lips.

In the LORD I shall glory;

the humble will hear and be glad.

Glorify the LORD with me;

let us exalt his name together.

I sought the LORD ‘s help; he answered me

and set me free from all my fears.

They who look to him are radiant with joy;

they will never be put out of countenance.

Here is one who cried out in his affliction;

the LORD heard him and saved him from all his troubles.

The angel of the LORD is on guard

round those who fear him, and he rescues them.

Taste and see that the LORD is good.

Happy are they who find refuge in him!

John 3:16-21 (Anchor Bible):

[Jesus continued,]

…Yes, God loved the world so much that He gave the only Son, that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.  For God did not sent the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned for refusing to believe int he name of God’s only Son.  Now the judgment is this:  the light has come into the world, but men have preferred darkness to light because their deeds were evil.  For everyone who practices wickedness hates the light, and does not come to the light for fear his deeds will be exposed.  But he who acts in truth comes into the light, so that it may be shown that this deeds are done in God.

The Collect:

O God, by the waters of Baptism you have renewed those who believe in you: Come to the help of those who have been reborn in Christ, that they may overcome the wiles of the devil, and continue faithful to the gifts of grace they have received from you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


The light came into the world.  This light shone in the darkness, and the darkness neither understood nor overcame it.  The darkness attempted to extinguish the light, and, indeed, the flame extinguished briefly.  Then, a few days later, the flame reignited.

The light multiplied and the darkness was powerless to extinguish the new lights, also.  The darkness destroyed some candles and lamps, but more candles and lamps took their places.  So the light multiplied again.  Then the darkness fought back, imprisoning certain candles and lamps, and agents of God liberated many of them.

The struggle continues.  God will win.  Thanks be to God!


Published originally at SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on April 6, 2010

Posted October 29, 2010 by neatnik2009 in 2023, April 19, Episcopal Church Lectionary

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