Second Sunday of Easter (May 1, 2011)
Common Lectionary Readings:
Acts 2:14a, 22-32; Ps. 16; I Pet. 1:3-9; John 20:19-31
This week Cindy and Kathryn Deckert, MCC Canada IVEP coordinator, visited Jordanian alumni of the International Volunteer Exchange Program.
Daryl traveled to Iraq with Rick Janzen (MCC Europe and Middle East co-director) and Krista Johnson (MCC peace programs coordinator), where they visited MCC staff and partners – including two Global Family partners. It is always inspiring to see firsthand the creative work that MCC partners are doing – often under the most challenging of circumstances.
In the region this week, security killed dozens of protesters and closed the Jordan-Syria border, as the situation inside Syria continues to deteriorate. Meanwhile, Egypt helped broker an interim unity government deal between rival Palestinian parties Fatah and Hamas.
The Common Lectionary readings this week are about the gift of life that God offers to us.
The reading from Acts is Peter’s sermon on the first Pentecost Day. “But God raised (Jesus) up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power,” Peter preaches (Acts 2:24).
Speaking of the coming Messiah, David says that God will not abandon him to the grave (Ps. 16:10). “You will show me the path of life,” declares the psalmist.
In the Epistle reading, Peter says that God “has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Pet. 1:3).
In the Gospel reading, John describes many of the signs that Jesus performed. “These are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah,” writes John, “and that through believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)
Around the world, the headlines scream of violence and death. The nations are in an uproar. Weather patterns seem to be changing dramatically – as earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes devastate many places. In the midst of these terrible tragedies, God is creating new life – just as on that first Easter day.