Readings and Sermon for the Fifth Sunday of Easter


“Religion celebrates what the rest of the world forgets—the inherent goodness of life itself.  Religion knows that life unadorned and raw is the ultimate high.  Everything else is a pale shadow of the real thing. All the excesses in the world –sex, alcohol, drugs, gambling, greed – are simply substitutes for the real thing. They are made for people who have yet to discover the joy of being human, the glory of God among us.”

Joan Chittister


Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life:  Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen

Acts 11:1-18

. . . Followers of Jesus living in Judea and Jerusalem are astonished to learn of the conversion of gentiles as Peter tells them of his heavenly vision and how the Holy Spirit fell upon the new believers.

Psalm 148 . . . The Song of Songs

.  .  . The whole of creation and all people join together in praise of the Lord

Revelation 21:1-6

. . . a vision of the renewal of all creation and of the new Jerusalem as the city in which God will abide with redeemed humanity.

John 13:31-35

. . . Jesus speaks to his disciples on the night that he is to be betrayed and handed over to death.

Sermon: “Short passage…big message…love one another, love one another, love one another…any questions?”  begins Courtney Allen, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia