O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
The Response: Psalm 97 was led by David Maitland. *(verse 11) “Light has sprung up for the righteous and joyful gladness for those who are truehearted.”
The First Reading Acts 16:16-34 was read by Arthur Clark. Paul tells of a slave girl that made money by fortune-telling and she followed them around at the command of her owners. Finally, Paul commanded the spirit in her to leave and she could no longer make money. For this act he and his disciples were taken before the magistrates and thrown into prison. While in prison they sang of Christ and taught his word. There was an earthquake and it released all the prisoners’ chains and opened the doors to the cells. The fearful jailer decided to kill himself, but Paul told him they were still all there. Astonished, the jailor then cared for their wounds and fed them. He wanted to know how to be saved and they told him to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He and his household became believers and were baptized.
The Second Reading read by David Maitland was Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21. John sees Jesus who tells him that he will come again soon. He has sent his angel to the churches with this testimony. Jesus tells him he is the descendant of David. He invites everyone to “Come” and receive the water of life as a gift. “Surely I am coming soon.”
Reverend Frnka read the Gospel of John 17:20-26. Jesus is praying for his disciples for he will soon leave them. He prays that they may all be as one, so that the world may believe that God has sent him. Jesus wants the glory and love to be with them so they can convince the world that love is the foundation of life. Jesus wants God to be known to the world through the work of the disciples who know that God sent Jesus to save the world. “I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Reverend Frnka told how the happenings occurred before Jesus’ ascension. First it was his betrayal by Judas and then the arrest. Finally, the crucifixion and now it is time for the ascension. Jesus is trying to prepare them for his departure and teach them as much in this short time as possible. He warns them of the persecution that they will have to endure. In Chapter 16 Jesus prays for three things: that there will be glory in his crucifixion for he will defeat death; that his chosen disciples are the property of God; and that those who believe in him through the Word are saved. This means he is actually praying for us.
Like the disciples, we know that we must be strong and fully connected with God. Jesus did not plan to leave his disciples orphaned. He left the Holy Spirit with them to abide in them and guide them. His prayer extended to include the future ones to also have unity and oneness and love for one another. It is through this show of love that others will learn about how much God loves them. To be able to have unity and oneness in the world, the bottom line is Love. They will know us by our love.
There will be a meal served on Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall for all parishioners. After the meal we will form small groups and share experiences that have strengthened our lives. Each Episcopal church in the Diocese is taking part in this activity.
Sunday service on May 19th will be at 9 a.m. with Reverend Gary Gooch as pastor. Everyone is invited to join in the worship.