The Season of Easter
Lutheran Service Book
3-Year Lectionary, Year C
The Resurrection of Our Lord (Easter Sunrise)
Old Testament / First Reading
23Oh how I wish that my words were written down.
Oh how I wish that they were inscribed in bronze,
24that they would be engraved in rock forever
with an iron tool and letters filled with lead.
25As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that at the end of time he will stand over the dust.
26Then, even after my skin has been destroyed,
nevertheless, in my own flesh I will see God.
27I myself will see him.
My own eyes will see him, and not as a stranger.
My emotions are in turmoil within me.
Epistle / Second Reading
1 Corinthians 15:51-57
51Look, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54But once this perishable body has put on imperishability, and this mortal body has put on immortality, then what is written will be fulfilled:
Death is swallowed up in victory.
55Death, where is your sting?
Grave, where is your victory?
56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2So she left and ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,” she told them, “and we don’t know where they put him!”
3So Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. 5Bending over, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in.
6Then Simon Peter, who was following him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there. 7The cloth that had been on Jesus’ head was not lying with the linen cloths, but was folded up in a separate place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who arrived at the tomb first, also entered. He saw and believed. 9(They still did not yet understand the Scripture that he must rise from the dead.)
10Then the disciples went back to their homes.
11But Mary stood outside facing the tomb, weeping. As she wept, she bent over, looking into the tomb. 12She saw two angels in white clothes sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and one at the feet. 13They asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She told them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him.”
14After she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not know it was Jesus.
15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”
Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you carried him off, tell me where you laid him, and I will get him.”
16Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and replied in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means, “Teacher”).
17Jesus told her, “Do not continue to cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father—to my God and your God.’”
18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” She also told them the things he said to her.
The Resurrection of Our Lord (Easter Day)
Old Testament / First Reading
17Watch this! I am about to create new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered.
They will not come to mind.
18Instead, rejoice and celebrate forever, because of what I am creating.
Watch this! I am about to create Jerusalem to be a source of gladness,
and her people will be a source of joy.
19I also will be glad because of Jerusalem,
and I will rejoice over my people.
The sound of weeping will not be heard in her again,
nor will the sound of crying.
20There will never again be an infant there who lives for only a few days,
or an elderly man who does not fill out all his days,
for one who dies at a hundred will be considered a young man,
and one who fails to attain the age of one hundred will be regarded as cursed.
21Then they will build houses and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22They will not build a house and have another person live in it.
They will not plant and have another person eat the crop,
for the days of my people will be like the days of a tree,
and my chosen ones will enjoy all the work of their hands.
23They will not labor only to receive nothing,
and they will not give birth to children doomed to disaster,
for they will be offspring who are blessed by the Lord,
and their descendants will be with them.
24Then even before they call, I will answer.
While they are still speaking, I will hear.
25The wolf and the lamb will graze together,
and lions will eat straw like cattle,
but the serpent will eat dust as its food.
They will not harm or destroy anywhere on my holy mountain,
says the Lord.
Epistle / Second Reading
1 Corinthians 15:19–26
19If our hope in Christ applies only to this life, we are the most pitiful people of all.
20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came by a man, the resurrection of the dead also is going to come by a man. 22For as in Adam they all die, so also in Christ they all will be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ as the firstfruits and then Christ’s people, at his coming. 24Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has done away with every other ruler and every other authority and power. 25For he must reign “until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” 26Death is the last enemy to be done away with.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. 2They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. 3When they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothing. 5The women were terrified and bowed down with their faces to the ground.
The men said to them, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? 6He is not here, but has been raised! Remember how he told you while he was still in Galilee 7that the Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again?” 8Then they remembered his words.
9When they returned from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest. 10It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles. 11Yet these words seemed to them like nonsense, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over to look in, he saw only the strips of linen cloth. He went home, amazed at what had happened.
The Second Sunday of Easter
Old Testament / First Reading
Acts 15:12–20 (21-32)
12The whole assembly fell silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul, who reported all the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.
13After they finished speaking, James responded, “Gentlemen, brothers, listen to me. 14Simon has reported how God for the first time has visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15The words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written:
16After these things I will return
and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will restore it,
17so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord
—even all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord who does these things.
18“Long ago he made these things known. 19So it is my judgment that we should not cause extra difficulty for those among the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20Instead we should write a letter telling them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood.
21After they heard this, they entered the temple courts at daybreak and began to teach.
When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin (that is, the whole council of elders of the people of Israel). Then they sent orders to the jail to have the apostles brought in. 22But when the officers arrived, they did not find them in the prison. They returned and reported, 23“We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” 24When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they were puzzled about them, wondering what could have happened.
25Then someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in prison are standing in the temple courts and teaching the people.”
26Then the captain went with the officers and brought the apostles in without force, because they were afraid that the people might stone them. 27After they brought them in, they had them stand before the Sanhedrin. The high priest asked them, 28“Did we not give you strict orders not to teach in this name? Look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you are determined to bring this man’s blood down on us!”
29But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men. 30The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you arrested and killed by hanging him on a cross. 31God exalted him to his right hand as Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and the forgiveness of sins. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Epistle / Second Reading
To the seven churches in the province of Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is, who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits that are before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his own blood 6and made us a kingdom and priests to God his Father—to him be the glory and the power forever. Amen.
7Look, he is coming with clouds,
and every eye will see him,
including those who pierced him.
And all the nations of the earth will mourn because of him.
8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, the one who is, and who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.
9I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingship and patient endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus.
10I was in spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard a loud voice behind me, like a trumpet, 11saying, “Write what you see on a scroll and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
12I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me. When I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands, 13and among the lampstands was one like a son of man. He was clothed with a robe that reached to his feet, and around his chest he wore a gold sash. 14His head and his hair were white, like white wool or like snow. His eyes were like blazing flames. 15His feet were like polished bronze being refined in a furnace. His voice was like the roar of many waters. 16He held seven stars in his right hand. A sharp two-edged sword was coming out of his mouth. His face was shining as the sun shines in all its brightness.
17When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last— 18the Living One. I was dead and, see, I am alive forever and ever! I also hold the keys of death and hell.”
19On the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were together behind locked doors because of their fear of the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you!” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! Just as the Father has sent me, I am also sending you.” 22After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23Whenever you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
24But Thomas, one of the Twelve, the one called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, and put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26After eight days, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Take your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue to doubt, but believe.”
28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
29Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30Jesus, in the presence of his disciples, did many other miraculous signs that are not written in this book. 31But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
The Third Sunday of Easter
Old Testament / First Reading
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way, he might bring them to Jerusalem as prisoners.
3As he went on his way and was approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
5He asked, “Who are you, Lord?”
He replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you need to do.”
7The men traveling with him stood there speechless. They heard the voice but did not see anyone.
8They raised Saul up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes, he could not see anything. They took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. 9For three days he could not see, and he did not eat or drink.
10There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
He answered, “Here I am, Lord.”
11The Lord told him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. In fact, at this very moment he is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he can regain his sight.”
13Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many people about this man and how much harm he did to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15The Lord said to him, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. 16Indeed, I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17Ananias left and entered the house. Laying his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, whom you saw on your way here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized. 19And after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul stayed with the disciples in Damascus for several days. 20Immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”
21All who heard him were amazed and said, “Isn’t this the one who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? Didn’t he come here for this very purpose: to bring them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22But Saul continued to get stronger and kept confounding the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.
Epistle / Second Reading
Revelation 5:(1–7) 8–14
And I saw a scroll in the right hand of him who sat on the throne, with writing on the front and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
2And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll by breaking its seals?” 3No one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. 4And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5Then one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping. Look! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed and is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6And I saw a Lamb standing in the center, near the throne, surrounded by the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders. The Lamb seemed to have been slain, and he had seven horns and seven eyes (these are the seven spirits of God that have been sent into all the world). 7The Lamb came and took the scroll out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne.
8And when the Lamb took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders bowed down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and gold bowls full of incense (these are the prayers of the saints). 9And they sang a new song, saying:
You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and you bought us for God with your blood
out of every tribe and language and people and nation.
10You made them to be a kingdom and priests for our God,
and they will reign on the earth.
11And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels who were around the throne and around the living creatures and the elders. Their number was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands upon thousands. 12With a loud voice they were saying:
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive
power and riches and
wisdom and strength and
honor and glory and blessing.
13I also heard every creature that is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever.
14The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders bowed down and worshipped.
John 21:1–14 (15-19)
After this, Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. This is how he showed himself: 2Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.”
They replied, “We’ll go with you.”
They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4Early in the morning, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Jesus.
5Jesus called to them, “Boys, don’t you have any fish?”
“No!” they answered.
6He told them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” So they cast the net out. Then they were not able to haul it in because of the large number of fish.
7The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard, “It is the Lord!” he tied his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the sea. 8But the other disciples came in the little boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about one hundred yards. 9When they stepped out on land, they saw some bread and a charcoal fire with fish on it. 10Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
11So Simon Peter climbed aboard and hauled the net to land, full of large fish, 153 of them. Yet even with so many, the net was not torn.
12Jesus said to them, “Come, eat breakfast.”
None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord.
13Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to them, and also the fish. 14This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
15When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I care about you.”
Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.”
16A second time Jesus asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
He said, “Yes, Lord, you know that I care about you.”
Jesus told him, “Be a shepherd for my sheep.”
17He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you care about me?”
Peter was grieved because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you care about me?” He answered, “Lord, you know all things. You know that I care about you.”
“Feed my sheep,” Jesus said. 18“Amen, Amen, I tell you: When you were young, you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will tie you and carry you where you do not want to go.”
19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. After saying this, he told him, “Follow me.”
The Fourth Sunday of Easter
Old Testament / First Reading
17From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. 18When they came to him, he said to them, “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I set foot in the province of Asia. 19I served the Lord with all humility, with tears, and with the trials that came to me due to the plots of the Jews. 20You know how I did not hesitate to proclaim to you anything that would be beneficial for you or to teach you publicly and from house to house. 21I have solemnly testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
22“And you see, now I am going to Jerusalem, compelled by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23except that the Holy Spirit keeps warning me in town after town that chains and afflictions are waiting for me. 24However, I consider my life as of no great value to me, so that I may finish my race and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus—to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.
25“Now take note of this too. I know that none of you among whom I went around preaching the kingdom of God will ever see my face again. 26Therefore I solemnly declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, 27for I did not hesitate to proclaim to you the whole counsel of God.
28“Always keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has placed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood. 29I know that after my departure savage wolves, who will not spare the flock, will come in among you. 30Even from your own group men will rise up, twisting the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31Therefore be always on the alert! Remember that for three years, night and day, I never stopped warning each one of you with tears.
32“And now I entrust you to God and to the word of his grace, which has power to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33I did not covet anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34You yourselves know that these hands have provided for my needs and for those who were with me. 35In every way I gave you an example that, by working hard like this, we need to help the weak and to remember the words that the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Epistle / Second Reading
9After these things I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing in front of the throne and of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and with palm branches in their hands. 10They called out with a loud voice and said:
Salvation comes from our God, who sits on the throne, and from the Lamb.
11All the angels stood around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures. They fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12saying:
Amen. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and might belong to our God forever and ever. Amen.
13One of the elders spoke to me and said, “These people dressed in white robes, who are they and where did they come from?”
And I answered him, “Sir, you know.”
14And he said to me:
These are the ones who are coming out of the great tribulation.
They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15Because of this they are in front of the throne of God,
and they serve him day and night in his temple.
He who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
16They will never be hungry or thirsty ever again.
The sun will never beat upon them, nor will any scorching heat,
17for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd.
He will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
22Then the Festival of Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was walking in the temple area in Solomon’s Colonnade.
24So the Jews gathered around Jesus, asking, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25Jesus answered them, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I am doing in my Father’s name testify about me. 26But you do not believe, because you are not my sheep, as I said to you. 27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.”
The Fifth Sunday of Easter
Old Testament / First Reading
The apostles and brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. 2When Peter went up to Jerusalem, those who insisted on circumcision criticized him, 3saying, “You went to visit men who were uncircumcised and ate with them!”
4So Peter began to explain everything to them, point by point. He said, 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision in which an object like a large sheet was let down from heaven by its four corners. It came right to me. 6When I inspected it very carefully, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7I also heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter! Kill and eat!’
8“But I replied, ‘Certainly not, Lord, for nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
9“A voice spoke from heaven a second time: ‘What God has made clean, you must not continue to call unclean.’ 10This happened three times, and then everything was pulled up into heaven again.
11“At that very moment, three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were. 12The Spirit told me to go with them without any hesitation. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13He told us how he saw an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and call for Simon, the one called Peter. 14He will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.’
15“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them, just as he came down on us at the beginning. 16Then I remembered how the Lord had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to try to stand in God’s way?”
18When they heard these things, they had no further objections, and they praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted repentance that results in life also to the Gentiles!”
Epistle / Second Reading
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, because the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And the sea no longer existed. 2And I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3And from the throne I heard a loud voice that said, “Look! God’s dwelling is with people. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain, because the former things have passed away.”
5The one who was seated on the throne said to me, “Look, I am making everything new!” He also said, “Write, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6And he said to me:
It is done.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
To anyone who is thirsty,
I will give freely from the spring of the water of life.
7The one who overcomes
will inherit these things.
I will be his God,
and he will be my son.
12“I still have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own, but whatever he hears he will speak. He will also declare to you what is to come. 14He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. 15Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I said that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.
16“In a little while you are not going to see me anymore, and again in a little while you will see me, because I am going away to the Father.”
17Therefore some of his disciples asked one another, “What does he mean when he tells us, ‘In a little while you are not going to see me, and again in a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going away to the Father’?” 18So they kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he’s saying.”
19Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you trying to determine with one another what I meant by saying, ‘In a little while you are not going to see me, and again in a little while you will see me’? 20Amen, Amen, I tell you: You will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. 21A woman giving birth has pain, because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, because of her joy that a person has been born into the world.
22“So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
31After Judas left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify the Son in himself and will glorify him at once.”
33“Dear children, I am going to be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
34“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, so also you are to love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The Sixth Sunday of Easter
Old Testament / First Reading
9A vision appeared to Paul during the night. A Macedonian man was standing there, urging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10As soon as he had seen the vision, we immediately made plans to proceed to Macedonia, because we concluded that God had called us to preach the good news to them.
11After we put out to sea from Troas, we sailed straight to Samothrace, and the next day to Neapolis. 12From there we went to Philippi, which is a leading city in that part of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We stayed in this city for a number of days.
13On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate alongside the river, where we thought there was a place of prayer. We sat down and began to talk to the women who had gathered there. 14A woman named Lydia, who worshipped God, was listening. She was a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira. The Lord opened her heart to pay close attention to what Paul was saying. 15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
Epistle / Second Reading
Revelation 21:9–14, 21–27
9One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls that were filled with the seven last plagues came and spoke with me. He said, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
10He carried me away in spirit to a great and high mountain, and he showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11It has the glory of God. Its radiance is similar to a very precious stone, like crystal-clear jasper.
12It has a large, high wall. It has twelve gates. Twelve angels are at the gates, and twelve names are engraved on the gates, the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13Three gates are on the east, three on the north, three on the south, and three on the west. 14The city’s wall also has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the Lamb’s twelve apostles.
21The twelve gates are twelve pearls. Each of the gates is made out of one pearl. And the street of the city is pure gold, like transparent glass.
22I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God has given it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25There is no day when its gates will be shut, for there will be no night in that place. 26They will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27Nothing that is unclean and no one who does what is detestable or who tells lies will ever enter it, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
23In that day you will not ask me anything. Amen, Amen, I tell you: Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive, so that your joy may be made complete.
25“I have told you these things using figurative language. A time is coming when I will no longer speak to you using figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26In that day you will ask in my name, and I am not telling you that I will make requests of the Father on your behalf. 27For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am going to leave the world and go to the Father.”
29“Yes!” his disciples said. “Now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative language. 30Now we know that you know everything and do not need to have anyone ask you anything. For this reason we believe that you came from God.”
31Jesus answered them, “Now do you believe? 32Listen, a time is coming, in fact it is here, when you will be scattered, everyone to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not going to be alone, because the Father is with me. 33I have told you these things, so that you may have peace in me. In this world you are going to have trouble. But be courageous! I have overcome the world.”
After this, there was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool, called Bethesda in Aramaic, which has five colonnades. 3Within these lay a large number of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—who were waiting for the movement of the water. 4For an angel would go down at certain times into the pool and stir up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. 5One man was there who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been sick a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7“Sir,” the sick man answered, “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I’m going, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9Instantly the man was healed. He picked up his mat and walked.
That day was the Sabbath.
The Ascension of Our Lord
Old Testament / First Reading
I wrote my first book, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began doing and teaching 2until the day he was taken up, after he had given instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3After he had suffered, he presented himself alive to the apostles with many convincing proofs. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and told them things about the kingdom of God.
4Once, when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for what the Father promised, which you heard from me. 5For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6So when they were together with him, they asked, “Lord, is this the time when you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But 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.”
9After he said these things, he was taken up while they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10They were looking intently into the sky as he went away. Suddenly, two men in white clothes stood beside them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Epistle / Second Reading
15This is why, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I never stop giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep praying that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, will give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in knowing Christ fully. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope to which he has called you, just how rich his glorious inheritance among the saints is, 19and just how surpassingly great his power is for us who believe. 20It is as great as the working of his mighty strength, which God worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule, authority, power, and dominion, and above every name that is given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22God also placed all things under his feet and made him head over everything for the church. 23The church is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
44He said to them, “These are my words, which I spoke to you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.”
45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46He said to them, “This is what is written and so it must be: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49Look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
50He led them out as far as the vicinity of Bethany. He lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51And while he was blessing them, he parted from them and was taken up into heaven. 52So they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53They were continually in the temple courts, praising and blessing God. Amen.
The Seventh Sunday of Easter
Old Testament / First Reading
12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.
13When they entered the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter and John were there, also James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14All of them kept praying together with one mind, along with the women, with Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
15In those days, when the group there numbered about 120 people, Peter stood up among the brothers and said, 16“Gentlemen, brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David about Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17Judas was counted as one of us and was given a share in this ministry.
18“Now this man acquired a field with what he was paid for his wicked act. When he fell headfirst, his middle burst open, and all his intestines spilled out. 19This became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, and so in their own language that field was called Akeldema, which means Field of Blood. 20Indeed, it is written in the book of Psalms:
May his residence be deserted.
Let there be no one dwelling in it.
let someone else take his position.
21“Therefore it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us during the entire time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from his baptism by John until the day Jesus was taken up from us, become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
23They proposed two: Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus) and Matthias. 24Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
26Then they assigned lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias. So he was counted with the eleven apostles.
Epistle / Second Reading
Revelation 22:1–6 (7–11) 12–20
The angel showed me the river of the water of life, which was as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. 2In the middle of the city’s street and on each side of the river was a tree of life that yielded twelve kinds of fruit. The tree yields its fruit every month, and its leaves are for the healing of the nations.
3There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him. 4They will see his face. His name will be on their foreheads. 5There will no longer be any night or any need for lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
6The angel said to me, “These words are faithful and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”
7“And look: I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who holds on to the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I bowed down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and also with those who hold on to the words of this book. Worship God!”
10The angel also said to me:
Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.
11Let the one who is unjust continue to be unjust.
Let the one who is filthy continue to be filthy.
Let the one who is just continue to do what is just.
Let the one who is holy continue to be holy.
12Look, I am coming soon and my reward is with me, to repay each one according to what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and so that they may enter through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs, that is, the sorcerers, the adulterers, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star.
17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears this say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who wants the water of life take it as a gift.
18I give this warning to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the Tree of Life and in the Holy City, which are written in this book.
20The one who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
20“I am praying not only for them, but also for those who believe in me through their message. 21May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me, and I am in you. May they also be one in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. 22I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one: 23I in them, and you in me. May they become completely one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
24“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am so that they may see my glory—the glory you gave me, because you loved me before the world’s foundation. 25Righteous Father, the world did not know you, but I knew you, and these men knew that you sent me. 26I made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love you have for me may be in them, and that I may be in them.”
The Coming of the Holy Spirit: The Day of Pentecost
Old Testament / First Reading
The whole earth had one language and a single vocabulary. As people traveled in the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they settled there. 3They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used mud brick instead of stone for building material, and they used tar for mortar. 4They said, “Come, let’s build a city for ourselves and a tower whose top reaches to the sky, and let’s make a name for ourselves, so that we will not be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
5The Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the people were building. 6The Lord said, “If this is the first thing they are doing as one people, who all have one language, then nothing that they intend to do will be too difficult for them. 7Come, let’s go down there and confuse their language, so that they cannot understand one another’s speech.”
8So the Lord scattered them from there over the face of the whole earth, and they stopped building the city. 9It was named Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
Epistle / Second Reading
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the rushing of a violent wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw divided tongues that were like fire resting on each one of them. 4They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, since the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak fluently.
5Now there were godly Jewish men from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6When this sound was heard, a crowd came together and was confused, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7They were completely baffled and said to each other, “Look, are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8Then how is it that each of us hears them speaking in his own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, and of Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya around Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; 11Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own languages the wonderful works of God.” 12They were all amazed and perplexed. They kept saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others mocked them and said, “They are full of new wine.”
14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and spoke loudly and clearly to them: “Men of Judea, and all you residents of Jerusalem, understand this, and listen closely to my words. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day. 16On the contrary, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17This is what God says will happen in the last days:
I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.
Your sons and your daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions.
Your old men will dream dreams.
18Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19I will show wonders in the sky above,
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and a rising cloud of smoke.
20The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21And this will happen: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
23Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will hold on to my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24The one who does not love me does not hold on to my words. The word that you are hearing is not mine, but it is from the Father who sent me.
25“I have told you these things while staying with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I told you.
27“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not let it be afraid. 28You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.
29“I have told you now before it happens so that, when it does happen, you may believe. 30I will not speak with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me. 31But I want the world to know that I love the Father and that I am doing exactly what the Father has instructed me.
“Get up. Let’s leave this place.”