The Fifth Sunday of Easter, 10 May 2020 – John 14:1-12, Psalm 33, 1 Peter 2:4-9 ~ “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

The Fifth Sunday of Easter, 10 May 2020 

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:

We have beheld your glory, O God, in the face of Christ Jesus, your Son.
Enliven our faith, that through Christ we may put our trust in you.
Deepen our faith, that in Christ we may serve you.
Complete our faith, that one day we may live with you
in that place which Christ prepares for us,
where he lives with you now and always
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
Amen
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Come Ye Disconsolate – Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway

Come, ye disconsolate, wherever ye languish,
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying,
“Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure.”

I said, earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure.
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 14:1-12 (NLT)

Jesus, the Way to the Father

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.
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Psalm 33 (Rejoice In The LORD O You Righteous) – Karl Kohlhase

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Prayers of Intercession:

Heavenly Father: You watch over those who fear you, those who rely on your unfailing love. Our hope is in you, Lord, hear our prayers –

+ for those whose hearts are troubled, that they may find their comfort in you….
+ for believers everywhere, that we may grow in our trust and awareness of your presence with us….
+ for those suffering the effects of this pandemic, that they may experience your calming closeness….
+ for those who are caring for the sick, that they may be protected from danger….

Heavenly Father: You watch over those who fear you, those who rely on your unfailing love. Our hope is in you, Lord, hear our prayers –

+ for joy-filled hearts that express your goodness and unfailing love….
+ for unwavering trust in the truth of your word, and your justice in all you do….
+ for awe at the wonder of your creation, spoken into being by your powerful word….
+ for confidence in your sovereignty, frustrating nations that reject you and blessing nations that revere you….

Heavenly Father: You watch over those who fear you, those who rely on your unfailing love. Help us to shine your light in the darkness, that all may see your goodness through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
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Goodness Of God – Bethel Music

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A Reading from the Epistles: 1 Peter 2:4-9 (NLT)

Living Stones for God’s House

You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. A s the Scriptures say,

“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor,
and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”

Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,

“The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.”

“He is the stone that makes people stumble,
the rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
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We Will Feast in the House of Zion – Sandra McCracken

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Closing: John 14:2-3 (NLT)

“I am going to prepare a place for you.
When everything is ready, I will come and get you,
so that you will always be with me where I am.”

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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Monday Morning: 08 Jul 2019 – 1 Peter 2:1-10 ~ Show others the goodness of God.

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for the Renewal of Life – Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – 1 Peter 2:1-10 (NLT)

So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

Living Stones for God’s House

You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. As the Scriptures say,

“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”

Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,

“The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.”

And,

“He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

“Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”

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Morning Reflection:

Show others the goodness of God.

You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation,
God’s very own possession.
As a result, you can show others the goodness of God,
for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
“Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”

– 1 Peter 2:9-10 –

In today’s reading, Peter explains God’s purpose in choosing us as his very own possession – “to show the goodness of God” by living in God’s light as people who have experienced God’s mercy. In other words, changed lives change lives.

So what changes does Peter have in mind so that we can “show others the goodness of God?”

+ Become people who listen to God – develop an appetite for, a hunger for, God’s Word.

+ Become people whose lives are built on Christ – He is the chief cornerstone of the church. Together, we become “living stones” who need each other, support each other, and work together to build the church in the world.

+ Become people whose lives reflect God’s goodness – rejecting evil behavior, i.e. deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.

+ Become people whose lives reflect God’s mercy – displaying holiness, honesty, contentment, and kindness in what we do and say.

Questions for consideration:

  • Do you have a hunger for God’s Word? How do you satisfy that hunger? Please explain.
  • Are you connected with other believers in a church built on the foundation of Jesus Christ? What part do you have in building up the faith and witness of that church? Please explain.
  • What do you need to reject in order to reflect the goodness of God? Please explain.
  • Where do you need to reflect God’s mercy to others in order to shine God’s light in the darkness? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Prayer for Inner Renewal:

Gracious God and most merciful Father, you have given us the sole authority for faith and life in your holy Word: Assist us with your Spirit, that the same Word may be written in our hearts to our everlasting comfort, to reform us, to renew us according to your own image, to build us up and edify us into the perfect dwelling place of your Christ, sanctifying and increasing in us all heavenly virtues; grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.

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“Chosen People” – Bread Without Cost

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Daily Reading: 03 Aug – The Apostles’ Teaching: A Living Hope – 1 Peter 1:1-2:12

Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

E100:19.c – The Apostles’ Teaching

A Living Hope – 1 Peter 1:1-2:12 (NLT)

Greetings from Peter

1 Peter 1  This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.

I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

May God give you more and more grace and peace.

The Hope of Eternal Life

priceless

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.

12 They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.

A Call to Holy Living

13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

1-holiness

17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.

21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.

22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.

23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 24 As the Scriptures say,

“People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. 25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.

1 Peter 2  So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

Living Stones for God’s House

cross build the church

4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6 As the Scriptures say,

“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”

7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,

“The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.”

8 And,

“He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”

John Bunyan - Pilgrim's Progress
John Bunyan – Pilgrim’s Progress

11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
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Prayer

Merciful God: I come to you through faith in your Son, Jesus Christ – who paid my ransom by shedding his blood on the cross for my sin. Thank you for adopting me into your family. I greet this day with joy-filled expectation – knowing that, whatever my present circumstance may be, a priceless inheritance awaits me in heaven.

Holy God: Make me like you – through the transforming power of your Spirit at work in me. Holiness, Christ-likeness, that’s what you want from me – and yet it seems like such an impossibility in my deeply flawed life. Forgive my deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and unkind speech. Today, once again, I place my life in your hands; work your purpose in me as you choose.

Heavenly Father: This world is not my home, I am a “temporary resident and foreigner” in a strange land that is becoming stranger every day. Give me wisdom and sound judgement that I may find favor with you and my unbelieving neighbors. May my identity as one of your children display your goodness, and bring honor to your name.

I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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“This world is not my home” – Ricky Scaggs


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Closing Sentence

The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!