The Reverend Elizabeth Bowyer
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Introductions to the readings for Sunday, May 7, 2017

During the season of Easter, after we celebrate the joy of the resurrection, we find ourselves easily slip back into habits and patterns of our ‘normal’ routines.  Not so, for the founders of the early church.  For them there was no return to ‘normal’.   Just imagine what our life together look like if we were to bring that same sense of vitality and abundance to our own community the founders of the early church did? 

Our first reading this morning describes community life in somewhat idyllic terms-to a time before internal conflicts arose, before persecution was a reality, and before inter-faith tensions arose:

Reading from the book of Acts, Chapter 2, verses 42-47 found at page 886 in your pew bible.

The believers share everything they have in common

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 

All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all; as any had need. 

Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. 

And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Here ends our first reading for our reflection this morning.

 

Let us continue to reflect on God’s Word for us as we sing together Psalm 23, found at VU p. 747

 

Our second reading this morning is a familiar one, portions of which we read on the fourth Sunday in the season of Easter.  John 10: 1-10

Listen with care to what draws your attention this morning as we hear once more Jesus’ clarity of purpose and his sense of identity as being sent by God to lead God’s people.

Jesus the Good Shepherd

10 “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.