This Sunday brings us to the close of the Easter season, with the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Even though the seven Sundays of Easter have concluded, we still celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Acts 1:12-26. This passage occurs immediately after the account of Jesus’ ascension. The disciples returned to Jerusalem to wait for the Promise of Jesus to be fulfilled, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon all Jesus’ followers. Notice that as they waited, they devoted themselves to prayer. May we also be people of prayer.
With Judas having betrayed Jesus, and then killing himself, it was necessary to replace him with a 12th apostle. Two were put forward, with Matthias being chosen by lot. Notice again the emphasis on prayer before Matthias was chosen.
Lord God, You have given us this wonderful gift of prayer. Lead us into prayer more and more, bringing all on our hearts and minds to You. Thank You that You hear and answer prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Psalm 133. This psalm uplifts unity as a tremendous blessing! It is like the anointing oil poured onto Aaron when he was ordained as the first High Priest, and unity is like refreshing dew in a parched and dry land. Let us work for unity within the Church, our nation, and world. Let us remember that true unity is at the foot of the cross of Jesus, where our sins are forgiven and where we are reconciled to God and each other.
Lord God, we give You thanks and praise that in Jesus we are reconciled to You and brought into Your kingdom. Fill us with Your love for others so that we seek reconciliation with them, bringing them to You through Christ. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Revelation 22:1-6 (7-11) 12-20. As we approach the end of the Easter season, we catch a glimpse of the End of Time when the Lord will make all things new in His kingdom. What a glorious vision the apostle John had, a vision in which we share as we read his words. The Spirit, the Bride (Church), and John bid all to come to Jesus. May we share the Gospel, drawing people to Jesus. Then we join with the last words of the text, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” Let us have the eyes of faith open to see the many ways that Jesus comes to us: in Word and Sacrament, the witness of others, and at the end of time. May we bring others to Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
John 17:20-26. Have you ever had someone pray for you? It is truly a blessing when we are brought before the Lord in prayer. Look closely at this part of Jesus’ High Priestly prayer: He is praying for His disciples gathered around Him the night before the crucifixion, but He is also praying “for those who will believe in me through their word…”, Jesus is praying for us also. WOW! On the night before the crucifixion, Jesus prayed for us. He prayed for our unity in Him, that our unity would be grounded in Jesus and the heavenly Father. Our unity in Christ is a witness to the world. Let us pray for increased unity of the followers of Jesus. Jesus also prays that one day we would be with Him and see His glory; refer back to the Second Reading from Revelation for a glimpse of His glory! He ends with a prayer for the love of God to be in us.
How are we doing? Do we love as He has first loved us? Let us pray to be drawn more closely to Jesus, and to be filled more and more with His love.
Most holy Jesus, we are humbled and filled with gratitude that You would pray for us on the night before Your crucifixion; we are humbled that You would love us so much You would pray for us. We ask that You would draw us more closely to the heavenly Father through You, and move us to seek unity among Your followers. Let our unity be a witness to the world. And, Lord, keep us united with You so that One Day we will see Your awesome glory in heaven. Amen.