Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, May 24, 2020 — Seventh Sunday of Easter

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, May 24, 2020 — Seventh Sunday of Easter
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Ascension Sunday
Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11

Opening Statement
With the eyes of our hearts enlightened, we put our faith in Jesus Christ, who was raised from the dead, and whose body is the church. Proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in the name of Christ.

Opening Prayer
Gracious Lord, this morning we come to you with so many things on our hearts. Keep our hearts and our minds open to your words of healing and of hope. Give us spirits of courage for all the times ahead. We ask your blessing on all those this day who are afflicted with illness and debilitating diseases, for those who mourn, for those who feel lost and alienated from family and from friends. Be with these dear people. Help them to feel your comforting and restoring presence. Give to us also, Lord, a spirit of peace and joy that we might llive your love through our attitudes and actions. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
Patient God, it hasn’t been easy for us to be disciples or witnesses to your love. We get caught in traps of anger, impatience and fear. Our words and spirits become cynical and jaded. Yet, at all times, you are with us, guiding and guarding us. On this day in which we celebrate the ascension of Jesus into heaven, we are reminded that we are not being left without guidance. The promise of the Spirit is given and in that promise we have hope and courage to become true disciples. Forgive us when we forget that! Forgive us when we act as though you didn’t care about us or about this world. We are called to be those who live the faith of hope and reconciliation, of courage and understanding. Lift us up when we have fallen, guide our hearts when we speak, for it is in the name of our risen Savior Jesus that we ask these things. Amen.

Words of Assurance
Although you have not stood on the mountaintop to see his ascension to God, yet believe in the love and power of Christ who taught you how to be faithful and joyful disciples. Rejoice, and believe in him who came that you may have abundant life.

The Collect
(from the Book of Common Prayers)
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Prayer of the Day
O God of glory, your Son Jesus Christ suffered for us and ascended to your right hand. Unite us with Christ and each other in suffering and in joy, that all the world may be drawn into your bountiful presence, 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
Jesus’ companions at prayer
1:6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Sing to God
1  May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;
     may his foes flee before him.
2  May you blow them away like smoke—
     as wax melts before the fire,
     may the wicked perish before God.
3  But may the righteous be glad
     and rejoice before God;
     may they be happy and joyful.

4  Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
     extol him who rides on the clouds;
     rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
5  A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
     is God in his holy dwelling.
6  God sets the lonely in families,
     he leads out the prisoners with singing;
     but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

7  When you, God, went out before your people,
     when you marched through the wilderness,
8  the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain,
     before God, the One of Sinai,
     before God, the God of Israel.
9  You gave abundant showers, O God;
     you refreshed your weary inheritance.
10 Your people settled in it,
     and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.

32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
     sing praise to the Lord,
33 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
     who thunders with mighty voice.
34 Proclaim the power of God,
     whose majesty is over Israel,
     whose power is in the heavens.
35 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
     the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

   Praise be to God!

Second Reading
God sustains those who suffer
4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. [Jesus said] I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Alleluia.

The Gospel
Christ’s prayer for his disciples
17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

Here end the Readings

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

  • 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.

Go forth in hope. Go forth with the knowledge of God’s presence with you. Go to serve God by taking care of each other and God’s world. Go now in peace! Amen.

Now that Easter has passed, our part in the work of Easter begins. Jesus gave us the perfect example of how we are to live our lives. Go into the world, share the good news, and reflect Jesus to those in need.

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 24, 2020
Ascension/Seventh Sunday of Easter
Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11

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