Twenty-Ninth Day of Easter: Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A   15 comments

“Do not let your hearts be troubled….”–Jesus

MAY 10, 2020

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Acts 7:55-60 (New Revised Standard Version):

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Stephen gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

Look,

he said,

I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!

But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed,

Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice,

Lord, do not hold this sin against them.

When he had said this, he died.

Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 (New Revised Standard Version):

In you, O LORD, I seek refuge;

so not let me ever be put to shame;

in your righteousness deliver me.

Incline your ear to me;

rescue me speedily.

Be a rock of refuge for me,

a strong fortress to save me.

You are indeed my rock and my fortress;

for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,

take me out of the net that is hidden for me,

for you are my refuge.

Into your hand I commit my spirit;

you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.

My times are in your hand;

deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.

Let your face shine upon your servant;

save me in your steadfast love.

1 Peter 2:2-10 (New Revised Standard Version):

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander.  Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation–if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  For it stands in scripture:

See, I am laying in Zion a stone,

a cornerstone chosen and precious;

and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.

To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe,

The stone that the builders rejected

has become the head of the corner,

and

A stone that makes them stumble,

and a rock that makes them fall.

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Once you were not a people,

but now you are God’s people;

once you had not received mercy,

but now you have received mercy.

John 14:1-14 (New Revised Standard Version):

Jesus said,

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.

Thomas said to him,

Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?

Jesus said to him,

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.

Philip said to him,

Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.

Jesus said to him,

Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

The Collect:

Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Authorized Version of the Bible translates “dwelling places” from John 14:2 as “mansions.”  This is a poor translation, for, depending on the scholar one consults, the reference in Greek can have three possible meanings:

1.  There are “many rooms” (as the New International Version renders the text).  The location of one’s room in the afterlife depends on one’s life:  good for good and evil for evil.  Some Jewish literature of the time contained this idea.

2.  There is a series of roadside rooms where a traveler sleeps overnight before rising the next morning and going on his or her way.  So there are stages of one’s spiritual journey, even in Heaven.

3.  There are many rooms in God’s house, with plenty of room for everybody.

I like #2.  But who knows, really?  The main idea we should remember that Jesus is central to this afterlife.

Let us remember, too, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”  Given the literary context within the Johannine Gospel, Jesus had many reasons to be troubled.  And yet he said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”  And Paul the Apostle endured his share of difficulties after become a Christian and evangelist.  Yet the epistles he wrote and dictated reflect a deep and abiding faith, great determination, and moments of frustration and pique, but not a greatly troubled heart.

I was a student at Valdosta State University and a member of Christ Episcopal Church, Valdosta, Georgia, from 1993 to 1996.  One day I attended the funeral for Deacon Stella Clark’s son.  I arrived at the church just before the funeral, for I chose not to skip a class meeting.  The church was full, so I had to sit in the Parish Hall and listen to the service on a speaker.  I recall Stella reading the Gospel, which began “Do not let your hearts be troubled…,” her voice breaking.  That was great faith indeed.  During that service she administered communion, the bread of life, to me.

Life contains the good and the bad, the joyous and the excruciating, and all degrees in the middle.  Through it all we are not alone, no matter how much we feel that way.  Experience has taught me that grace is most noticeable when the need for it is greatest.  So I carry meaningful memories related to traumatic times.  I rejoice in the great joy during those troubled times and thank God for the spiritual growth which has flowed from them, but take no delight in those times themselves.  And I have learned more deeply the truth of “Do not let your hearts be troubled….”  This is a lesson one can learn only by living.

KRT

Published originally at SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on June 20, 2010

Posted October 29, 2010 by neatnik2009 in 2020, May 10, Revised Common Lectionary Year A

Tagged with , , ,

15 responses to “Twenty-Ninth Day of Easter: Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: Prayer of Dedication for the Fifth Sunday of Easter « GATHERED PRAYERS COLLECTED BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

  2. Pingback: Prayer of Praise and Adoration for the Fifth Sunday of Easter « GATHERED PRAYERS COLLECTED BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

  3. Pingback: Twenty-Ninth Day of Easter: Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B « LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

  4. Pingback: Twenty-Ninth Day of Easter: Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B « SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

  5. Pingback: Twenty-Ninth Day of Easter: Fifth Sunday of Easter,Year C « LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS

  6. Pingback: Devotion for June 12 and 13 in Ordinary Time (LCMS Daily Lectionary) « ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS

  7. Pingback: Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C « SUNDRY THOUGHTS

  8. Pingback: Seemingly Upside-Down Yet Really Right Side-Up | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

  9. Pingback: Proverbs and John, Part IV: Excessive Optimism II | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

  10. Pingback: Devotion for December 26, Year A (ELCA Daily Lectionary) | ADVENT, CHRISTMAS, AND EPIPHANY DEVOTIONS

  11. Pingback: Causes and Consequences of Persecution | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

  12. Pingback: Devotion for the Twenty-Ninth, Thirtieth, and Thirty-First Days of Easter (LCMS Daily Lectionary) | LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS

  13. Pingback: Devotion for the Twenty-Sixth, Twenty-Seventh, and Twenty-Eighth Days of Easter, Year A (ELCA Daily Lectionary) | LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS

  14. Pingback: Devotion for the Thirtieth, Thirty-First, and Thirty-Second Days of Easter, Year A (ELCA Daily Lectionary) | LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS

  15. Pingback: The Challenge of Trusting God | BLOGA THEOLOGICA

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: