May 29, 2011
The Sixth Sunday of Easter
FIRST READING: Acts 17:22-31
22So Paul stood up in front of the council and said:
People of Athens, I see that you are very religious. 23As I was going through your city and looking at the things you worship, I found an altar with the words, “To an Unknown God.” You worship this God, but you don’t really know him. So I want to tell you about him. 24This God made the world and everything in it. He is Lord of heaven and earth, and he doesn’t live in temples built by human hands. 25He doesn’t need help from anyone. He gives life, breath, and everything else to all people. 26From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and he decided when and where every nation would be.
27God has done all this, so that we will look for him and reach out and find him. He isn’t far from any of us, 28and he gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are. “We are his children,” just as some of your poets have said.
29Since we are God’s children, we must not think that he is like an idol made out of gold or silver or stone. He isn’t like anything that humans have thought up and made. 30In the past, God forgave all this because people did not know what they were doing. But now he says that everyone everywhere must turn to him. 31He has set a day when he will judge the world’s people with fairness. And he has chosen the man Jesus to do the judging for him. God has given proof of this to all of us by raising Jesus from death.
PSALMODY: Psalm 66:8-20
8All of you people, come praise our God!
Let his praises be heard.
9God protects us from death and keeps us steady.
10Our God, you tested us, just as silver is tested.
11You trapped us in a net and gave us heavy burdens.
12You sent war chariots to crush our skulls.
We traveled through fire and through floods,
but you brought us to a land of plenty.
13I will bring sacrifices into your house, my God,
and I will do what I promised
14when I was in trouble.
15I will sacrifice my best sheep
and offer bulls and goats on your altar.
16All who worship God, come here and listen;
I will tell you everything God has done for me.
17I prayed to the LORD, and I praised him.
18If my thoughts had been sinful,
he would have refused to hear me.
19But God did listen and answered my prayer.
20Let’s praise God! He listened when I prayed,
and he is always kind.
SECOND READING: 1 Peter 3:13-22
13Can anyone really harm you for being eager to do good deeds? 14Even if you have to suffer for doing good things, God will bless you. So stop being afraid and don’t worry about what people might do. 15Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life.
Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope. 16Give a kind and respectful answer and keep your conscience clear. This way you will make people ashamed for saying bad things about your good conduct as a follower of Christ. 17You are better off to obey God and suffer for doing right than to suffer for doing wrong.
18Christ died once for our sins.
An innocent person died for those who are guilty.
Christ did this to bring you to God,
when his body was put to death
and his spirit was made alive.
19Christ then preached to the spirits that were being kept in prison. 20They had disobeyed God while Noah was building the boat, but God had been patient with them. Eight people went into that boat and were brought safely through the flood.
21Those flood waters were like baptism that now saves you. But baptism is more than just washing your body. It means turning to God with a clear conscience, because Jesus Christ was raised from death. 22Christ is now in heaven, where he sits at the right side of God. All angels, authorities, and powers are under his control.
GOSPEL: John 14:15-21
15Jesus said to his disciples:
If you love me, you will do as I command. 16Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. 17The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don’t see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you.
18I won’t leave you like orphans. I will come back to you. 19In a little while the people of this world won’t be able to see me, but you will see me. And because I live, you will live. 20Then you will know that I am one with the Father. You will know that you are one with me, and I am one with you. 21If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like.