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Full lections can be read here.
Based on the Readings as Set
First Reading (Acts 8:26-40)
After persecution scatters the early church, Philip encounters an Ethiopian traveller puzzling over a passage from Isaiah. It is about the crucifixion of Jesus, Philip explains, and shares the gospel more fully. The man is baptized and the Spirit carries Philip away.
Having expressed his terror at being in the hands of his enemies, the Psalmist now looks forward to YAHWEH’s deliverance. It will be so impressive that the whole world will turn to YAHWEH and even the dead will acknowledge him. It will be a story for the ages.
Second Reading (1 John 4:7-21)
John insists that Christian love for one another is non-negotiable: it arises out of God’s prior love for us, having sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for all sin. As we abide in him and he in us, God’s love is perfected in our mutual love and verified by the Spirit.
Gospel (John 15:1-8)
Jesus boldly claims that it is only through him that anyone can bear spiritual fruit. In the Father’s vineyard he is the true vine and we are the branches. We must remain in him or we will not be able to accomplish anything and our prayers will be fruitless.
- Jesus is the only connection between God and humankind
- Jesus’ death and resurrection connect the Old and New Testaments
- The critical centrality of Jesus to the plan of God for our salvation, indeed, for our life as Christians
- It’s all about Jesus
- Stay connected to Jesus in order to stay connected to God