The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

The new command (readings for Sunday, May 6, 2007)

with 2 comments

Fifth Sunday of Easter: May 6, 2007
John 13:31-35, Revelation 21:1-6, Acts 11:1-18, Psalm 148

What a revolution would sweep the world if we who follow Jesus excelled in that which he most urged upon us!  What a different world it would be if we who follow Jesus were recognized by that which he desired to be our signature characteristic!

John 13:31-35

View commentary related to this passage

A New Command

31-32When he had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, God’s glory will be on display. In glorifying him, he himself is glorified—glory all around! 33“Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the [other] Jews, I’m telling you: ‘Where I go, you are not able to come.’

34-35“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

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

Revelation 21:1-6

View commentary related to this passage

Revelation 21

Everything New

1I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea. 2I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband. 3-5I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.” 6-8Then he said, “It’s happened. I’m A to Z. I’m the Beginning, I’m the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty. Conquerors inherit all this. I’ll be God to them, they’ll be sons and daughters to me. But for the rest—the feckless and faithless, degenerates and murderers, sex peddlers and sorcerers, idolaters and all liars—for them it’s Lake Fire and Brimstone. Second death!”

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

Acts 11:1-18

View commentary related to this passage

Acts 11

God Has Broken Through

1-3The news traveled fast and in no time the leaders and friends back in Jerusalem heard about it—heard that the non-Jewish “outsiders” were now “in.” When Peter got back to Jerusalem, some of his old associates, concerned about circumcision, called him on the carpet: “What do you think you’re doing rubbing shoulders with that crowd, eating what is prohibited and ruining our good name?” 4-6So Peter, starting from the beginning, laid it out for them step-by-step: “Recently I was in the town of Joppa praying. I fell into a trance and saw a vision: Something like a huge blanket, lowered by ropes at its four corners, came down out of heaven and settled on the ground in front of me. Milling around on the blanket were farm animals, wild animals, reptiles, birds—you name it, it was there. Fascinated, I took it all in.

7-10“Then I heard a voice: ‘Go to it, Peter—kill and eat.’ I said, ‘Oh, no, Master. I’ve never so much as tasted food that wasn’t kosher.’ The voice spoke again: ‘If God says it’s okay, it’s okay.’ This happened three times, and then the blanket was pulled back up into the sky.

11-14“Just then three men showed up at the house where I was staying, sent from Caesarea to get me. The Spirit told me to go with them, no questions asked. So I went with them, I and six friends, to the man who had sent for me. He told us how he had seen an angel right in his own house, real as his next-door neighbor, saying, ‘Send to Joppa and get Simon, the one they call Peter. He’ll tell you something that will save your life—in fact, you and everyone you care for.’

15-17“So I started in, talking. Before I’d spoken half a dozen sentences, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as he did on us the first time. I remembered Jesus’ words: ‘John baptized with water; you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So I ask you: If God gave the same exact gift to them as to us when we believed in the Master Jesus Christ, how could I object to God?”

18Hearing it all laid out like that, they quieted down. And then, as it sank in, they started praising God. “It’s really happened! God has broken through to the other nations, opened them up to Life!”

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

Psalm 148

View commentary related to this passage

Psalm 148

1-5 Hallelujah! Praise God from heaven,
praise him from the mountaintops;
Praise him, all you his angels,
praise him, all you his warriors,
Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, you morning stars;
Praise him, high heaven,
praise him, heavenly rain clouds;
Praise, oh let them praise the name of God
he spoke the word, and there they were!

6 He set them in place
from all time to eternity;
He gave his orders,
and that’s it!

7-12 Praise God from earth,
you sea dragons, you fathomless ocean deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and ice,
hurricanes obeying his orders;
Mountains and all hills,
apple orchards and cedar forests;
Wild beasts and herds of cattle,
snakes, and birds in flight;
Earth’s kings and all races,
leaders and important people,
Robust men and women in their prime,
and yes, graybeards and little children.

13-14 Let them praise the name of God
it’s the only Name worth praising.
His radiance exceeds anything in earth and sky;
he’s built a monument—his very own people! Praise from all who love God!
Israel’s children, intimate friends of God.
Hallelujah!

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

Advertisements

Written by Monte

May 1, 2007 at 9:01 am

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Wow, Brian, how very wonderful. Have you noticed that Jesus’ curriculum is often “what happened out there”?

    Monte

    May 3, 2007 at 9:34 am

  2. Monte–

    This command of Christ’s to love is prompting me in inspiring ways these days to lead in some crazy ways.

    Last night, when I usually go over the coming Sunday’s sermon/teaching with Disciplship Group leaders and other church leaders I was led to something different. John 15 (the vine/branches/fruit imagery) would not leave me alone.

    So we briefly discussed what the vine, the branches, and fruit are (Jesus, people, lifestyle). Before beginning I had everyone call out some places they liked to spend time and felt comfortable (restaurants, coffee shops, stores, etc.). Then I made sure there was a big stack of connection cards available and told everybody to go in groups of at least two to one of the places listed and bear some fruit!

    A one-hour meeting was reduced to about 7 minutes and ended with the challenge to go bear fruit.

    I’m looking forward to hearing the stories of what took place!

    Shalom.

    Brian Niece

    May 3, 2007 at 9:18 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: