The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

The risen Christ (readings for Sunday, April 15, 2007)

with 2 comments

Second Sunday of Easter; April 15, 2007
John 20:19-31; Revelation 1:4-8; Acts 5:27-32; Psalm 118:14-29 [click for same verses in NIV]

CaravaggioStartling, ghastly, glorious reality: As awareness of Jesus’ resurrection spreads, suddenly he appears among them. They are terrified, then thrilled. Eight days later, Thomas has a moment when he may hope everyone’s forgotten what he’d recently said. Perhaps it had seemed prudent at the time!

From the stories of Jesus: John 20:19-31

To Believe
Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews [that is, the Jewish officials: everybody in the story is Jewish], had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered… stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side.The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”

Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”

But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.” But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.”

Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.” Thomas said, “My Master! My God!” Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”

Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.

The Message (MSG), Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

From the New Testament: Revelation 1:4-8

His Eyes Pouring Fire-Blaze
I, John, am writing this to the seven churches in Asia province: All the best to you from The God Who Is, The God Who Was, and The God About to Arrive, and from the Seven Spirits assembled before his throne, and from Jesus Christ—Loyal Witness, Firstborn from the dead, Ruler of all earthly kings.

Glory and strength to Christ, who loves us, who blood-washed our sins from our lives,
Who made us a Kingdom, Priests for his Father, forever—and yes, he’s on his way!
Riding the clouds, he’ll be seen by every eye, those who mocked and killed him will see him,
People from all nations and all times will tear their clothes in lament.
Oh, Yes.

The Master declares, “I’m A to Z. I’m The God Who Is, The God Who Was, and The God About to Arrive. I’m the Sovereign-Strong.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

From the Acts of the Apostles: Acts 5:27-32 (normally, there’s a reading from the Hebrew scriptures here, but during Easter season, the Revised Common Lectionary uses readings from Acts)

Bringing them back, they stood them before the High Council. The Chief Priest said, “Didn’t we give you strict orders not to teach in Jesus’ name? And here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are trying your best to blame us for the death of this man.”


Peter and the apostles answered, “It’s necessary to obey God rather than men. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, the One you killed by hanging him on a cross. God set him on high at his side, Prince and Savior, to give Israel the gift of a changed life and sins forgiven. And we are witnesses to these things. The Holy Spirit, whom God gives to those who obey him, corroborates every detail.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

From the Psalms: Psalm 118:14-29
Pushed to the wall, I called to God; from the wide open spaces, he answered.
God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid; who would dare lay a hand on me?
God’s my strong champion; I flick off my enemies like flies.
Far better to take refuge in God than trust in people;
Far better to take refuge in God than trust in celebrities. …
I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me.
God’s my strength, he’s also my song, and now he’s my salvation.
Hear the shouts, hear the triumph songs in the camp of the saved?
“The hand of God has turned the tide! The hand of God is raised in victory!
The hand of God has turned the tide!”


I didn’t die. I lived! And now I’m telling the world what God did.
God tested me, he pushed me hard, but he didn’t hand me over to Death.
Swing wide the city gates—the righteous gates! I’ll walk right through and thank God!
This Temple Gate belongs to God, so the victors can enter and praise.


Thank you for responding to me; you’ve truly become my salvation!
The stone the masons discarded as flawed is now the capstone!
This is God’s work. We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it!
This is the very day God acted—let’s celebrate and be festive!
Salvation now, God. Salvation now! Oh yes, God—a free and full life!


Blessed are you who enter in God’s name—from God’s house we bless you!
God is God, he has bathed us in light.
Festoon the shrine with garlands, hang colored banners above the altar!
You’re my God, and I thank you. O my God, I lift high your praise.
Thank God—he’s so good. His love never quits!

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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Written by Monte

April 9, 2007 at 3:30 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Hi Sarah – thanks for coming by! Your church’s website is beautiful. Hope I get to visit someday – I’m sometimes in KC, have a sister in Topeka, and Lawrence is a natural stop.
    I try to post the coming readings each Monday – you’re always welcome to use them!
    Best wishes,
    BTW: I taught music at Wichita State three decades ago (!), and visited the Lawrence high school trolling for prospective students.


    April 15, 2007 at 6:24 am

  2. Hi. I was looking for the lectionary readings for Sunday (I think it is Sunday, now, actually) as I was choosing songs for worship tomorrow afternoon, and found your website. I was pleased to read about your church, and see that you have similar relational values, like our church. My husband also just returned from a mission trip to Guatemala, and was truly humbled by his time there. Anyway, it just seemed like there were some connections I noticed, and felt very “at home” reading a few of your entries. Blessings to you! Thanks for posting the readings for tomorrow (today)!


    April 14, 2007 at 11:59 pm

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