Ressurection Lutheran Church

7th Sunday of Easter (5/24/2020)

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Below please find the reading from Acts and the reading from John for the 7 th Sunday in Easter. In addition, I attached a handout with commentary and reflection questions you may find useful in you reading though the text. As always, there will be information you already know, information causing you to reconsider some preconceived ideas, and information you may find initially challenging or unsettling. Know that your immersion in, and journey through, scripture is an ongoing, unfolding journey whereby you grow in understanding Gods love for you and for all of creation.
We also remember this Memorial Day weekend, the many who have served and the many who gave their lives for others.

Gods peace,

Pastor Raymond

Sunday, May 24, 2020
Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year A

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: Acts 1:6-14
Today’s reading is part of the introduction to the narrative of the outpouring of the Spirit on
Pentecost. These verses tell of the risen Lord’s conversation with his disciples on the eve of
his ascension, in which he promises that they will receive the power of the Holy Spirit.

6 When [the apostles] had come together, they asked [Jesus], “Lord, is this the time when
you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or
periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the
Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and
Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he
was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were
gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said,
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been
taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
  12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem,
a sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went to the room
upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and
Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and
Judas son of James. 14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together
with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

Gospel: John 17:1-11
On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus prays to his heavenly Father, asking that those
who continue his work in this world will live in unity.

1 After Jesus had spoken these words [to his disciples], he looked up to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you
have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom
you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 So
now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence
before the world existed.
  6 “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were
yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that
everything you have given me is from you; 8 for the words that you gave to me I have given
to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they
have believed that you sent me. 9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of
the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10 All mine are
yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 And now I am no longer in
the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in
your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

Seventh Sunday of Easter (A) – John 17:1-11
Discipleship: An Instrument of Wisdom
Focus Question:
This week how might you be an instrument of wisdom?
word of life
“And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.
Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as
we are one.” John 17:11 (NRSV)

Read John 17:1-11
Jesus prays throughout his life, but the prayers he offers at the end of his life are particularly
noteworthy. The prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane following his last supper with his disciples
is offered as he waits for Judas to betray him and the guards to arrest him. His prayer in the
garden is, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what
you want.” (Matthew 26:39 NRSV. See Luke 22:39-42; Mark 14:32-36)
The Gospel of John does not include the scene of the Garden of Gethsemane. Some Biblical
scholars understand the prayer in John 17 to be parallel to the one Jesus prays at Gethsemane.

  1. Why pay attention to the final prayer of Jesus?
  2. How do you explain the omission of the Garden of Gethsemane scene from the Gospel of
    The prayer in John 17 continues the theme found throughout the Gospel of John of the glory of
    Jesus. We read in the first chapter of John, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and
    we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14
    Jesus prays for glory, but not in a selfish way. Jesus knows his death will point back to God and
    give God all glory. His death will complete and fulfill God’s glory so that people may know
    God. The prayer of Jesus for glory is in actuality a prayer for his disciples.
  3. Why do you believe Jesus is praying for glory?
  4. Does this prayer for glory fit your understanding of a humble Jesus?
  5. How might his death be perceived as glorious?
    The prayer of Jesus reflects a unity between the Father and the Son. Jesus confirms his mission
    of working with the people whom God gave to him. Jesus not only cares and protects his
    followers, but Jesus also makes an intentional connection between his disciples and his Father.
    Jesus prays not on behalf of strangers or those who do not believe. The petition is for those
    whom God already knows. Jesus returns to God what was first claimed by God.
  6. What might those disciples have been thinking as they overheard this prayer?
  7. What questions do you have about this prayer?
    Jesus knows he is departing, but does not want to leave these disciples alone or without a
    protector. He desires the disciples to be connected to God just as Jesus is connected. This is a
    prayer for unity.
  8. What might it be like to be connected with God as Jesus was connected to God?
  9. What might it feel like for you to have such unity?

word among us
Christian had spent hours and hours throwing a baseball to his son. In the beginning, his son had
difficulty focusing on the ball. Instead, the boy would be distracted by butterflies and bugs.
Christian had little hope his son would share his own love for the game. But around the age of
twelve, Christian’s son entered a zone. He lived and breathed baseball. Christian beamed at his
son’s first home run and later, at his first no-hitter. As people patted Christian on his back, he
shook his head and pointed to his son.

  1. Describe the joy when a parent watches his or her child do something well.
  2. How do you explain parents who sacrifice so that their children can succeed?
  3. Can it become unhealthy for a parent to get glory through a child’s successes? How so?
    Jesus prayed for glory, but only so that it would help his disciples to believe and know God.
    Glory came to Jesus, but not in a typical way. He did not hit a home run, win a lottery, or find
    success through popularity. His glory came through his crucifixion, followed by resurrection.
    Death on a cross is not the expected path towards glory. It is no wonder his disciples were
    baffled and overwhelmed by the events following his last supper with them.
  4. How do you define “glory”?
  5. What in your life gives God glory?
  6. What about your church gives God glory?
    The prayer by Jesus is not a selfish prayer, but provides an insight into the heart and wisdom of
    Jesus. He was able to see the big picture despite his approaching sacrificial death. This wisdom
    of Jesus is rooted in his connectedness to God.
    Not all people gain in wisdom as they age. Wisdom does increase with the number of gray hairs
    on the head. Now and then, a child is described as wise beyond his or her years.
  7. How do you define “wisdom”?
  8. How have you grown in wisdom over the years?
    Throughout the season of Easter, Daily Discipleship has included the Serenity Prayer as part of its
    reflection. This prayer concludes with a petition for wisdom to make wise choices. We can be
    tempted after those things which give us glory. It is so easy to get caught up in ourselves and our
    path to self-glorification. Jesus in his prayer of John 17 reminds us to redirect our energy towards
    those things which gives God glory.
  9. Where in your life do you need wisdom?
  10. What is God calling you to change?
    Gracious God, give me wisdom to know the difference between those things which I cannot
    change and that worth investing energy to change. Guide me in ways to daily give you glory.
    Dig Deeper
    Psalm 68:1-10

last word
Pray each day the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

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