Lord of Light, shine upon these words the very truth of your being, that we may read and be brought into deeper relationship with you. Amen.
Acts 11:1-18. Peter explains to the believers in Jerusalem how the Holy Spirit was received by Gentiles in Caesarea.
Psalm 148. A psalm exhorting all of creation and all peoples to praise God.
Revelation 21:1-6. John sees a vision of the New Jerusalem descending from heaven, and a voice that proclaims that God’s dwelling place is now among people on earth.
John 13:31-35. Jesus’ new commandment – to love one another.
God, may your written word become your spoken word and grow your living word in us all.
The Reverend Tania Writes,
Christ is Risen. He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!
The Easter message shifts this week from Jesus’ offer of life to us, to the way we seek to live out that life as we follow him – and it’s a startling message of inclusivity and love.
Jesus’ new commandment is frequently sung and quoted, but the “one another” that Jesus’ calls us to love is often limited to Christian believers.
Now, in the lectionary, as the Gospel is laid aside the other readings, we realise that this “one another” goes much further.
In Acts, we discover that the previously excluded Gentiles are now included in God’s Kingdom.
In the Psalm, all of creation is included in this “one another” as the entire creation is exhorted to offer praise.
And in John’s Revelation vision, we discover that God so includes all, that God moves God’s dwelling place (“heaven”) into our earthly neighbourhood.
There can be no greater, all-encompassing statement of love for all from God. We have no more excuses for turning the Gospel into an exclusive message!
The power of Easter lies not just in the life it offers us, but also in the way we are recruited to be life-bringers.
This week, the role of love in leading us to life – and enabling us to bring life to others – stands out in the Lectionary. Love is never easy, it is always messy, unpredictable and scandalously inclusive.
But, if we seek to follow Christ, we cannot avoid the privilege and the responsibility we have to be people of love.
May your worship lead into this love of Christ, and into his life, a little more this week.
Blessings of New Life this Easter Season.