Notes on the Service...
...for April 26, 2015, the Fourth Sunday of Easter
Acts 4:5-12; Ps 23; I Jn 3:16-24; Jn 10:11-18
Today is called Good Shepherd Sunday because the modern collect, the psalm, and the Gospel all feature the image of the good shepherd. The first reading, the epistle and the Gospel state that Christ laid down his life for us, which is an attribute of the Good Shepherd, according to John.
Today's section of the Acts shows Peter on the day after the episode report-ed last Sunday, when through Peter and John, Christ had healed a lame man. After that the authorities had taken the two apostles into custody on a charge of disturbing the temple's peace. At their hearing, Peter claims that the Healer of the man was Jesus of Nazareth, whom the high priests had had executed. Peter supports his case by appealing to Psalm 118 that a stone discarded by masons will become the cornerstone of God's new temple.
THE Good Shepherd Psalm, Ps. 23, is a song of an individual, according to tradition David who had been a shepherd, although it is difficult to see what would prompt David to wish to "dwell in the house of the Lord forever" when the house had not yet been built in David's lifetime, unless David were speaking metaphorically, as we do when we use this psalm at funerals. Ps. 23:5, "anointed my head with oil," could be said of any Israelite who was blessed, or it might suggest the ritually-anointed King David and the messiah.
The paramount expression of love is the giving of one's life, as in Christ's giving his life for us, and in turn our giving our lives for each other, says the epistle. Anyone who truly loves shows love in actions, not merely in words. Those actions disclose the presence of the Spirit of Christ.
In John's Gospel, a long speech about the Good Shepherd follows the controversy between Jesus and some Pharisees provoked by Jesus' healing of a blind man on the Sabbath. As any Pharisee would have known, the prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah as well as various psalmists had called God the Shepherd of Israel. Most pointedly, Ezekiel had denounced Israel's leaders of his time as bad shepherds. Jesus implies that the current leaders of Jerusalem resemble those Ezekiel had criticized when Jesus calls himself the good shepherd who "lays down his life for the sheep," in contrast with hirelings who flee. Just before this passage, Jesus had called the Pharisees worse than blind because they know what they are doing. By "other sheep" Jesus must mean Gentiles, outside the conventionally-defined flock of God.
On April 25, the church calendar observed the martyred evangelist, Mark, from whose Gospel we are reading during 2015. Most scholars think that Mark's Gospel is the outline used by Matthew and Luke.
- The ECW Spring Tea is only about four weeks away. Please begin turning in money for tea and raffle tickets you have sold. Marilyn Stevens will be available to collect money at coffee hour each Sunday. Additionally ECW would like donations of craft items and baked goods for the tea room sales. An artfully arranged display will be available to showcase your items at the sale. Sign up sheets for sandwich fillings will also be available at coffee hour. We are looking forward to everyone's participation in this Redeemer special event.
- Sunday, April 26 – The Vestry will meet at 11:45 AM
- Tuesday, April 28 – Redeemer Book Club will meet at the home of Dennie Boettcher at 5 PM. We will be discussing "All the Light we cannot see" by Anthony Doerr.
- Bulletin Ministry: Please let Maryann Presnell or the Vestry know if you feel led to take over the Bulletin Ministry.
- PhoneTree Ministry: Please let the Bill Smith or the Vestry know if you feel led to take over the Phone Tree Ministry.
- Wednesday, May 6 - First Wednesday Pot Luck Supper & Evensong
- Friday, May 8 - Sighs Too Deep for Words: A Right Brain Theology
- Saturday, May 9 - Mother's Day High Tea.
- Sunday, May 10 - Mother's Day
If you would like to become a member of the Prayer Chain please talk to Diane Jackson.
This Week's Schedule:
|Sunday|| 8:15 AM
Choir Practice in the Church
|Monday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
|Tuesday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
|Wednesday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
|Thursday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|