Twenty-Eighth Day of Easter   8 comments

Above:  Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega

“Show Us the Father”

Saturday, April 28, 2018 (Year B)

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Acts 13:32-52 (Revised English Bible):

(Note:  The Lesser Feasts and Fasts designates 13:32-43 for Year C and 13:44-52 for Years A and B.  I have merged these lections.)

[Paul continued,]

We are here to give you the good news that God, who made the promise to the fathers, has fulfilled it for the children by raising Jesus from the dead, as indeed it stands written in the second Psalm:  ‘You are my son; this day I have begotten you.’ Again, that he raised him from the dead, never to be subjected to corruption, he declares in these words:  I will give you the blessings promised to David, holy and sure.’  This is borne out by another passage:  ‘You will not let your faithful servant suffer corruption.’  As for David, when he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, he died and was gathered to his fathers, and suffered corruption; but the one whom God raised up did not suffer corruption.  You must understand, my brothers, it is through him that everyone who has faith is acquitted of everything for which there was no acquittal under the law of Moses.  Beware, then, lest you bring down upon yourselves the doom proclaimed by the prophets:  “See this, you scoffers, marvel, and begone; for I am doing a deed in your days, a deed which you will never believe when you are told of it.’”

As they were leaving the synagogue they were asked to come again and speak on these subjects next sabbath; and after the congregation had dispersed, many Jews and gentile worshippers went with Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to hold fast to the grace of God.

On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of God.  When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealous resentment, and contradicted what Paul had said with violent abuse.  But Paul and Barnabas were outspoken in their reply.

It was necessary,

they said,

that the word of God should be declared to you first.  But since you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.  For these are our instructions from the Lord:  ‘I have appointed you to be a light to the Gentiles, and a means of salvation to earth’s farthest bonds.’

When the Gentiles heard this, they were overjoyed and thankfully acclaimed the word of the Lord, and those who were marked out for eternal life became believers.  Thus the word of the Lord spread throughout the region.  But the Jews stirred up feeling among those worshippers who were women of standing, and among the leading men of the city; a campaign of persecution was started against Paul and Barnabas, and they were expelled from the district.  They shook the dust off their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium.  And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Psalm for Year C:  Psalm 16:5-11 (Revised English Bible):

LORD, you are my allotted portion and my cup;

you maintain my boundaries:

the lines fall for me in pleasant places;

I am well content with my inheritance.

I shall bless the LORD who has given me counsel:

in the night he imparts wisdom to my inmost being.

I have set the LORD before me at all times:

with him at my right hand I cannot be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad

and my spirit rejoices,

my body rests unafraid;

for you will not abandon me to Sheol

or suffer your faithful servant to see the pit.

You will show me the path of life;

in your presence is the fullness of joy,

at your right hand are pleasures evermore.

Psalm for Years A and B:  Psalm 98:1-6 (Revised English Bible):

Sing a new song to the LORD,

for he has done marvellous deeds;

his right hand and his holy arm have won his victory known;

he has displayed his saving righteousness to all the nations.

He has remembered his love for Jacob,

his faithfulness towards the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen

the victory of our God.

Acclaim the LORD, all the earth;

break into songs of joy, sing psalms.

Sing psalms in the Lord’s honour with the lyre,

with the lyre and with resounding music,

with trumpet and echoing horn

acclaim the presence of the LORD our King.

John 14:7-14 (Anchor Bible):

[Jesus said to Thomas,]

If you men really knew me, then you would recognize my Father, too.  From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.

Philip said,

“Lord, show us the Father.  That’s enough for us.”

Jesus replied,

Philip, here I am with you all this time, and you still don’t know me?  Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.  So how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me?  The words that I say to you men are not spoken on my own; it is the Father, abiding in me, who performs the works.  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; otherwise believe [me] because of the works.  Let me firmly assure you, the man who has faith in me will perform the same works that I perform.  In fact, he will perform far greater than these, because I am going to the Father, and whatever you ask in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.

The Collect:

O Lord, you open the portals of your kingdom to those who have been reborn by water and the Spirit:  Increase the grace you have given to your children, that those whom you have cleansed from sin may attain to all your promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

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We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God.

Jesus proclaimed the reign of God:  preaching good news to the poor and release to the captives, teaching by word and deed and blessing the children, healing the sick and binding up the brokenhearted, eating with outcasts, forgiving sinners, and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.

Jesus was crucified, suffering the depths of human pain and giving his life for the sins of the world.

God raised Jesus from the dead, vindicating his sinless life, breaking the power of sin and evil, delivering us from death to life eternal.

–A Brief Statement of Faith of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), lines 7-26

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In God’s light we see light.  In Jesus we see God.

The Incarnation constitutes the foundation of my theology as a Christian.  God, although other and beyond total human comprehension, is not beyond reach and partial human comprehension.  We have far more than words and prophetic declarations; we have a life.

If we Christians attempt to be honest to our professions of faith, we will follow him whose name we claim.  This practice might place us in great risk–even deadly situations or other forms of persecution–but Jesus, the living Word of God, is not domesticated.  That is one reason many people wanted him dead.  But we know how that story ended, do we not?

In God’s light we see light.  In Jesus we see God.  Do others see Jesus in us?

KRT

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

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