Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, May 17, 2020 — Sixth Sunday of Easter

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, May 17, 2020 — Sixth Sunday of Easter
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Community Advocate
Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21

Opening Statement
In Acts, Paul describes God as the source of all creation and the source of life for all humankind. More than this, “we live and move and have our being” in God. Indeed, how can this God be far from us when we are in God? First Peter speaks of our being brought to God by Jesus Christ and describes lives of integrity “in Christ.” John takes this human/divine spatial imagery the furthest in Jesus’ description of himself as in God, while we the disciples are in Christ and Christ is in us. More than this, the Spirit is with us and in us as well. These passages call us to recognize the mysterious interrelationship that undergirds our being; they challenge us to live lives of love and goodness, courage and hope.

Opening Prayer
(adapted from Acts 17, Psalm 66, John 14)
Source of all creation, maker of the world and everything in it, you are never far from each one of us. We come to you this day to learn of your will for our lives. Heal our wounds; lift our spirits. Reveal yourself to us; dwell with us; and abide in us. We live because of you. We hope because of you. In the name of Jesus Christ in whom we live, and the Spirit of Truth who abides in us, amen.

Prayer of Confession
(adapted from Acts 17, John 14)
Maker and giver of all, forgive us when we are too preoccupied to notice your presence in our lives: when we walk through this world and fail to see the wonder of you upholding our lives and all creation; when we walk through our lives and fail to see you abiding with, within, and around us; when we walk through holy moments and fail to savor your presence, instead feeling abandoned in the vast sweep of life as each day rushes at us with its demands. Open our eyes to your presence, God of love, that we may lean on you—for you uphold all of creation in tenderness and power. Amen.

Words of Assurance
(adapted from Acts 17, Psalm 66, John 14)
When Jesus left the disciples, he gave us a promise: “I will not leave you orphaned!” For we, his disciples, live in him and he in us—the presence of God within and around all. What a promise! Take courage! Take comfort! Blessed be God!

The Collect
(from the Book of Common Prayers)
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of the Day
Almighty and ever-living God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

First Reading
Paul’s message to the Athenians
17:22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

Be joyful in God all you lands
8  Praise our God, all peoples,
     let the sound of his praise be heard;
9  he has preserved our lives
     and kept our feet from slipping.
10 For you, God, tested us;
     you refined us like silver.
11 You brought us into prison
     and laid burdens on our backs.
12 You let people ride over our heads;
     we went through fire and water,
     but you brought us to a place of abundance.

13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings
     and fulfill my vows to you—
14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke
     when I was in trouble.
15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you
     and an offering of rams;
     I will offer bulls and goats.

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God;
     let me tell you what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
     his praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
     the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened
     and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
     who has not rejected my prayer
     or withheld his love from me!

Second Reading
The days of Noah a sign of baptism
3:13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Alleluia.

The Gospel
Christ our advocate
14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Here end the Readings

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Apostles’ Creed

  • I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

  • I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

  • I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

Holy Communion

A nondenominational serving of bread and wine
Many churches around the world are working hard to adapt to online worship, and one challenge is how our members can celebrate communion from home. Though no video can truly replace the experience of celebrating together in our places of worship, we know that where two or more are gathered, the Lord is present.


Being washed in the love of Christ, now go into this world with the healing love of God to be given generously in peace and hope. God’s peace will always be with those who live in God’s love. Amen.

Christ’s death and resurrection mean that we are invited to join God in his plan to redeem this broken world. It’s not just a wishful idea; it’s a call to every follower of Jesus to change the world.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Daily Lectionary for SUNDAY, May 17, 2020
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21

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