21 April 2019
of the Scripture Lections
for Resurrection Morning - Year C - 21 April 2019
Lections from The Revised Common Lectionary.
Copyright 1992 by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT)
P. O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville, TN 37203-0003, USA. Used with Permission.
* Acts 10: 34-43
Peter addressed the gathered people saying:
“Now it is all perfectly clear to me — God does not play favourites! Whoever you are and wherever you are from, if you take God seriously and do the right thing, God will welcome you with open arms! Jesus the Messiah preached God’s message about a peace deal to the people of Israel, but clearly it did not stop with them — he is Lord of all! No doubt you have heard the news about Jesus of Nazareth, because since it sparked off in Galilee, it has spread like wildfire all over Judea. The story began after John started calling everyone to turn their lives around through baptism. God singled Jesus out then and there, charging him with the Holy Spirit’s power. From then on, Jesus travelled around working for good and helping people out from under the devil’s thumb and back onto their feet. God was with him in all this. We saw it all ourselves; everything he did in the Judean backblocks and in the city of Jerusalem. They strung him up on a post and killed him, but three days later God raised him to life and let us see him. Not everybody got to see him, but God had picked us out to be the ones who would know first hand what had happened. We got to spend time sharing meals and a few drinks with him after he was brought back from the dead. He gave us the job of getting his message out to the people and going public with the fact that he is the one who God has appointed to make the final assessment of everybody on earth, past and present. You don’t have to take our word alone on this; all the prophets back us up. Everyone who puts their trust in Jesus receives pardon for their sins on his say so.”
©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net
* Isaiah 65: 17-25
I, the LORD, have made myself available
even to those who didn’t bother to ask.
I put myself on call, ready and waiting,
even for those who were too lazy to look for me.
I kept waving and shouting, “Here I am!”
to a nation who kept ignoring me.
I kept offering the hand of friendship, round the clock,
to a people who kept spitting in my face.
Their behaviour has gone completely off the rails,
and they don’t care about anything but themselves.
They are constantly in my face,
needling me, stirring me up.
They play mix-and-match religion to spite me:
an idol from here, a ritual from there;
a sacrifice to this, some incense for that;
a seance in the cemetery to summon the dead.
If I say don’t eat something, they eat it.
They’d cook and serve sewerage if they thought I’d react.
They promote themselves as the spiritual elite;
too holy by far to mix with those they see as beneath them.
These people are a noxious stench.
They get right up my nose.
Look, I’ve kept a record of what they’ve done.
I’ll publish the lot and make them pay.
They’ll get all they deserve with interest,
and an added bonus for the sins of their parents.
I, the LORD, guarantee all this,
because they worship only what gives them a high
and they spurn me to pursue their next hit.
I will see that they cop the full consequences
of each and every despicable act.
But hear this from me, the LORD:
there is still some good wine in the cellar.
And just as people say,
“Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”,
so for the sake of those who still serve me,
I will not just wipe out the entire nation.
From among Jacob’s descendants
I will raise my true children;
from the tribe of Judah
I will raise people worthy of receiving my land.
Those I have chosen will inherit it;
those who truly serve me will make their home there.
©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net
* Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24
Thank you, LORD, thank you!
Thank you for your goodness!
Thank you for your love —
rock solid and timeless!
May all your people recognise
that your love and loyalty last forever.
Our energy and strength come from you, LORD;
our peace and safety were won by you.
The sound of singing rings out
from the homes of all who are honest and true.
They sing of what you have done, LORD,
for you raised your hand and saved the day.
Now we know that our lives are safe;
we will live to tell of what you have done.
You gave us the tough medicine we deserved, LORD,
but you didn’t let death get its claws into us.
The minute they open the city gates
— the gates of justice —
we’ll be the first through, LORD;
eager to tell you how thankful we are.
These gates belong to you, LORD,
those you have put right can come on through.
Thank you for answering our prayers, LORD;
for coming to our rescue and putting us right.
From a rejected stone found in a rubbish pile
you cut and polished a priceless jewel.
This is obviously your work, LORD,
and we can hardly believe our eyes!
Today is your day, LORD, a day to honour you;
we will celebrate with joy and laughter.
©2001Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net
* 1 Corinthians 15: 19-26
If we’ve put all our eggs in the Messiah’s basket and it has made no
difference to how much life we’ve got — we will still just die and that
will be the end of it — then we must be the sorriest bunch of losers who
ever drew breath. But the fact of the matter is that the Messiah has
been raised from the dead and is more alive than ever. And he’s just the
first. Now that he’s set the precedent you can rest assured that there are
plenty more to come! The precedent for throwing away life came through one
human being, and now the precedent for throwing off death has come through
another. Just as our solidarity with Adam sent us into grave, so now our
solidarity with the Messiah will see us join him in rising from the grave
to live. But we have to take our place in the queue and wait our turn.
Jesus the Messiah, as the trail-blazer, comes first. Then, when he steps
back onto the stage, those who have signed on with him will follow. And
then comes the big finale. Having wiped out the competition — all those
systems and structures and powers that seek to rule our lives — the
Messiah’s new culture will be complete and he will present it in triumph
to God who conceived us all. For the Messiah’s influence must continue to
grow until all the enemies of life have fallen beneath his feet. And, of
course, the final enemy to be destroyed will be death itself.
©2013 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net
* John 20:1-18
Early on Sunday, the first day of the week, even before it began to get light, Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb where Jesus had been buried. When she got there, she discovered that the stone had been removed and the tomb was open. She fled as fast as she could, and found Simon Peter and the disciple whom Jesus had been closest to. Mary blurted out, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have taken him.”
So Peter and the other disciple set off on the double. They were both running at full tilt, but the other disciple was faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He didn’t go in, but he bent down to peer inside and saw that the linen burial shroud had been unwrapped and left behind. Moments later, Simon Peter arrived, and barged straight into the tomb. He too, saw the unwrapped shroud lying there, and noticed that the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head was not with the rest of the shroud, but had been rolled up and left in a different spot. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, followed Peter in. They had not yet got their minds around the scriptures that said that Jesus must rise from the dead, but what he saw was enough to convince him that this was no grave robbery, but something far more extraordinary.
The two men left, and headed off to their homes, but Mary stayed behind and stood weeping outside the tomb. A little later she bent down to look into the tomb, and through her tears she saw two angels dressed in white. They were sitting where the body of Jesus had previously been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She replied, “Someone has taken away my Lord, and I have got no idea where they might have put him.”
Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing behind her, but she didn’t realise it was him. Jesus asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Mary assumed that he was the cemetery gardener, so she said to him, “Mister, if you have removed his body from the tomb, please tell me where you have put him, and I will take him off your hands.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She spun around and said, “Rabbouni!”, which is a Hebrew word meaning ‘Dear Teacher’.
Jesus said to her, “Don’t try to hold on to me, because I have not yet fully risen to the Father. But go now, and tell my whole family of disciples that I am rising up to the one who conceived me and conceived you, to my God and your God.”
So Mary Magdalene went straight to the disciples, and was the first to make the announcement, “I have seen the Lord!”
She went on to fill them in on all that he had said to her.
©2003 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net
* Luke 24: 1-12
Among the followers of Jesus there were some women who had come from Galilee with him. At the crack of dawn on the Sunday, they came to the tomb where his body had been laid, bringing with them the embalming spices that they had prepared. They found the tomb open with the stone rolled out of the way. They went in, but there was no sign of the body. They were standing there shocked and confused when, out of the blue, two men appeared right beside them. Their clothes were dazzling light and the terrified women had to look away. The two men said, “Why are you looking in a graveyard for one who lives? You won’t find him here. He has risen! Remember what he told you back in Galilee. He said that the New Human would be handed over to godless people and executed, but that on the third day he would rise to life again.”
Suddenly the memory of those words came flooding back to them. They returned from the graveyard and told all these things to the eleven and to all the other followers too. Now the group of women who brought this news included Mary of Magdala, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; but even so, the men wrote it off as some sort of hysterical delusion and they didn’t believe a word of it. Peter was the only one who ran off to look for himself. He bent down and peered into the tomb. All he could see was the linen grave clothes lying there by themselves. He went home scratching his head, with no idea what to make of it all.
©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net