Fourth Sunday of Easter – April 26, 2015
Mass at 11:00 a.m. Readings: Acts 4:5-12; Psalm 23: 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18; Pastor George Detweiler will preach and preside.
The Fourth Sunday of Easter is sometimes called “Good Shepherd Sunday”. In each of the three years of the lectionary, on this Sunday, we read a section of John 10, and the psalm is always Psalm 23. The persistence of this image of the good shepherd in a largely urbanized culture is puzzling. Many people have experience with cats or dogs; a few of us with cows, horses or chickens, but sheep? Not so much, and shepherds even less. But it remains a powerful metaphor for a sense of intimacy with and being cared for by the Lord Jesus.
Throughout the Easter season the first lessons are from the book of the Acts of the Apostles. In that book we hear about the effects of the resurrection, what difference Jesus’ resurrection made in the lives of his disciples.
In this reading, a healing gives Peter an opportunity to proclaim the resurrection, first in the Temple, and then when he and his companions are arrested, to the religious leaders. Quoting Psalm 118:22, Peter tells them that Jesus is the stone rejected by the builders that has become the cornerstone. Although they crucified him, God raised him and made him the one in whose name we can be saved.
The second lesson and gospel are from the writings of John and his disciples. Love in truth and action is an important theme in those writings, as is abiding in Christ. The writer of 1 John encourages us to show the love of Christ to those in need, thereby displaying by our actions that we abide in him.
In the gospel we read about the Good Shepherd as the one who lays down his life for the sheep. He lays it down for them because they belong to him–he owns them. It is his willingness to die for the sheep that makes him the Good Shepherd. In Jesus’ self-sacrifice he fulfills the office of shepherd.
Today’s hymns all relate to the Good Shepherd theme, in some cases by evoking the image of us as lambs or sheep in the Lord’s flock, or with Christ as the Lamb of God.
Final Bach Vespers of the 47th Season at 5:00 on Sunday
The Bach Choir and players will present J. S. Bach’s Ich bin ein gutter Hirt, BWV 85, and Michael Praetorius’ Magnificat super ‘Surrexit Pastor bonus.’
Music for Sunday
Prelude: Views from the Oldest House III. The Nest in Old North Church, Ned Rorem
Offertory: The King of Love My Shepherd Is, Edward Bairstow
Communion: O Sacrum Convivium, Kenneth Leighton
Postlude: Fanfare, John Cook
#377 Alleluia! Jesus is Risen
#764 Have No Fear, Little Flock
#372 Christ Is Arisen
#463 Lord, Who the Night You Were Betrayed
#782 My Shepherd, You Supply My Need
#544 Praise the Lord, Rise Up Rejoicing
Dr. David G, Burke will offer the second of a two-part Afterwords presentation this Sunday April 26 following the coffee hour downstairs in the Community Room. This will be a multimedia event with audio and visual enhancements. The focus of study/discussion will be on Judges 13-16, “Samson and Delilah: The Real Story.”
The restoration of our 65th St fence is nearly complete! We expect Spirit Ironworks to begin installation by the end of the month. Thanks to the many of you who have given to the Building Fund so far, we are now just $9,000 away from covering the costs of this work. If you have not yet given–or even if you have–please consider making a gift to help close this gap.
The Holy Trinity Transition Team needs your input and insight!
Please plan to attend two “Dialogue Circles” following two Sunday Masses in May. In groups of 8, or so, seated around tables as we eat some lunch (one of which will be pot-luck), you’ll be asked, by Transition Team facilitators, a series of open-ended questions about Holy Trinity’s heritage, identity, community, mission–and our future. Your perspective and insights on these questions are key to completing the Strategic Plan that the Transition Team is developing, and crucial to our eventual process to seek pastoral candidates and extend a call to our next pastor. You participation is necessary to capture your view.
Dialogue Circle/Luncheon (in the community room):
Sunday, May 3, about 12:45pm – 2:00pm, following Mass and coffee. LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED
Sunday, May 17, about 12:45pm – 2:00pm, following Mass and coffee. POT-LUCK LUNCHEON–please bring something to share!
With many thanks from your Transition Team: Steve Aurand, Anna Bolz, Tim Cage, Suzanne Hoglund, Joshua Leveque, Patty McGreevey, Jean Silliman, and Jonathan Stewart.