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March 29, 2015 — Palm Sunday
Procession with Palms: Mark 11:1-11 (NRSV)
11:1 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples
2 and said to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it.
3 If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.'"
4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it,
5 some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?"
6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it.
7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.
8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.
9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
The first reading: Isaiah 50:4-9 (NRSV)
50:4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.
6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
7 The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
9 It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty? All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
The Psalm: Psalm 31:9-16 (NRSV)
31:9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also.
10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.
11 I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.
13 For I hear the whispering of many— terror all around!— as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God."
15 My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
16 Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.
The second reading: Philippians 2:5-11 (NRSV)
2:5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Gospel: Mark 14:1-15:27 (NRSV)
14:1 It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him;
2 for they said, "Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people."
3 While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head.
4 But some were there who said to one another in anger, "Why was the ointment wasted in this way?
5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor." And they scolded her.
6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me.
7 For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me.
8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial.
9 Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her."
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.
11 When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, "Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?"
13 So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him,
14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'
15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there."
16 So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
17 When it was evening, he came with the twelve.
18 And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me."
19 They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, "Surely, not I?"
20 He said to them, "It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me.
21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born."
22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body."
23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it.
24 He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
25 Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
26 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
27 And Jesus said to them, "You will all become deserters; for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.'
28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee."
29 Peter said to him, "Even though all become deserters, I will not."
30 Jesus said to him, "Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times."
31 But he said vehemently, "Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you." And all of them said the same.
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray."
33 He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated.
34 And he said to them, "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake."
35 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
36 He said, "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want."
37 He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour?
38 Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.
40 And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him.
41 He came a third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
42 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand."
43 Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.
44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard."
45 So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, "Rabbi!" and kissed him.
46 Then they laid hands on him and arrested him.
47 But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
48 Then Jesus said to them, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit?
49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled."
50 All of them deserted him and fled.
51 A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him,
52 but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.
53 They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled.
54 Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire.
55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none.
56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree.
57 Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying,
58 "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'"
59 But even on this point their testimony did not agree.
60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?"
61 But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?"
62 Jesus said, "I am; and 'you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,' and 'coming with the clouds of heaven.'"
63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "Why do we still need witnesses?
64 You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?" All of them condemned him as deserving death.
65 Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, "Prophesy!" The guards also took him over and beat him.
66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by.
67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, "You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth."
68 But he denied it, saying, "I do not know or understand what you are talking about." And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed.
69 And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, "This man is one of them."
70 But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, "Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean."
71 But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, "I do not know this man you are talking about."
72 At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, "Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times." And he broke down and wept.
15:1 As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.
2 Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" He answered him, "You say so."
3 Then the chief priests accused him of many things.
4 Pilate asked him again, "Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you."
5 But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
6 Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked.
7 Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection.
8 So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom.
9 Then he answered them, "Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"
10 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over.
11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead.
12 Pilate spoke to them again, "Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?"
13 They shouted back, "Crucify him!"
14 Pilate asked them, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify him!"
15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
16 Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort.
17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him.
18 And they began saluting him, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
19 They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.
20 After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
21 They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.
22 Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).
23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.
24 And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.
25 It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him.
26 The inscription of the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews."
27 And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left.
April 5, 2015 — Resurrection of Our Lord Easter Day
The first reading: Acts 10:34-43 (NRSV)
10:34 Then Peter began to speak to them: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality,
35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all.
37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced:
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree;
40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear,
41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead.
43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
The Psalm: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (NRSV)
Psalm 118:1-2
118:1 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say, "His steadfast love endures forever."

Psalm 118:14-24
118:14 The LORD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.
15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: "The right hand of the LORD does valiantly;
16 the right hand of the LORD is exalted; the right hand of the LORD does valiantly."
17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.
18 The LORD has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

The second reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (NRSV)
15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand,
2 through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.
3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,
4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,
5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.
7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
11 Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.
The Gospel: Mark 16:1-8 (NRSV)
16:1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.
3 They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?"
4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.
5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.
7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you."
8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. [And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.]
April 12 - Second Sunday of Easter
The first reading: Acts 4:32-35 (NRSV)
4:32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.
33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.
35 They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
The Psalm: Psalm 133:1-3 (NRSV)
133:1 How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the LORD ordained his blessing, life forevermore.
The second reading: 1 John 1:1-5:21 (NRSV)
1:1 We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—
2 this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—
3 we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true;
7 but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
2 and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
3 Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments.
4 Whoever says, "I have come to know him," but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist;
5 but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him:
6 whoever says, "I abide in him," ought to walk just as he walked.
7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard.
8 Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
9 Whoever says, "I am in the light," while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness.
10 Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling.
11 But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.
12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven on account of his name.
13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, because you have conquered the evil one.
14 I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world;
16 for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world.
17 And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.
18 Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour.
19 They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us.
20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge.
21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth.
22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also.
24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father.
25 And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.
26 I write these things to you concerning those who would deceive you.
27 As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him.
28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming.
29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has been born of him.
3:1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
2 Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.
3 And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
4 Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
5 You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
6 No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.
7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
8 Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
9 Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God's seed abides in them; they cannot sin, because they have been born of God.
10 The children of God and the children of the devil are revealed in this way: all who do not do what is right are not from God, nor are those who do not love their brothers and sisters.
11 For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12 We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous.
13 Do not be astonished, brothers and sisters, that the world hates you.
14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death.
15 All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them.
16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.
17 How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him
20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God;
22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.
23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
24 All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.
4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world.
4 Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
5 They are from the world; therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them.
6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.
15 God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God.
16 So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.
19 We love because he first loved us.
20 Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.
21 The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
3 For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome,
4 for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.
5 Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.
7 There are three that testify:
8 the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree.
9 If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son.
10 Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son.
11 And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
14 And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him.
16 If you see your brother or sister committing what is not a mortal sin, you will ask, and God will give life to such a one—to those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin that is mortal; I do not say that you should pray about that.
17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not mortal.
18 We know that those who are born of God do not sin, but the one who was born of God protects them, and the evil one does not touch them.
19 We know that we are God's children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
The Gospel: John 20:19-31 (NRSV)
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 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."
27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe."
28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.
31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
April 19, 2014 - Third Sunday of Easter
The first reading: Acts 3:12-19 (NRSV)
3:12 When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, "You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?
13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him.
14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you,
15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
16 And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
17 "And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.
18 In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.
19 Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,
The Psalm: Psalm 4:1-8 (NRSV)
4:1 Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.
2 How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? Selah
3 But know that the LORD has set apart the faithful for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
4 When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.
6 There are many who say, "O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O LORD!"
7 You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound.
8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O LORD, make me lie down in safety.
The second reading: 1 John 3:1-7 (NRSV)
3:1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
2 Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.
3 And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
4 Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
5 You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
6 No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.
7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
The Gospel: Luke 24:36-48 (NRSV)
24:36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
38 He said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."
40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43 and he took it and ate in their presence.
44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled."
45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,
46 and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,
47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things.
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