Sunday, May 12, 2019
4th Sunday of Easter
First Reading: Acts 9:36-43
Second Reading: Rev. 7:9-17
Gospel Reading: John 10:22-30
The liturgical color for the day is: White
From the Clarity of Identity Bible Study – Unit 2 on Acts 9
The story resembles the raising of Jairus’ daughter (see Mark 5:21-43; Mt. 9:18-26; Lk 8:40-56). This intentional resemblance suggests that first Jesus, and now Peter, and then other disciples along with the whole of the Church are being pulled into a new reality where death is not viewed as ultimate or final. Dorcas’ discipleship is so needed by her community—so much so that she is raised to continue in ministry. Her life of discipleship brings hope in the story for those who are the most vulnerable.
Peter is invited with the words: “Please come to us without delay.” Like Jairus’ daughter, there is an urgency at hand. Dorcas’ community is hopeful that Peter can bring about an outcome that will be of positive benefit. The story shows us again a community that points to resurrection hope in a God who transcends death and reaches beyond earthly margins.
From the Clarity of Identity Bible Study – Unit 2 on John 10
In all three years of the Revised Common Lectionary, the 4th Sunday of Easter is “The Good Shepherd Sunday.” On the 4th Sunday the Gospel Lesson always is drawn from John 10. This text continues that theme of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The Psalm for the day is the 23rd and the oneness indicated in verse 30 draws a rich connection between God as the Shepherd in Psalm 23 and Jesus as the Good Shepherd in John 10.
This connection extends well beyond the symbolism of a shepherd, and it points to the nature of the work of Jesus and the work of God the Parent – there is more than a symmetry to that work – there is oneness between the work/action/movement of God and the work/action/movement of Jesus. This should be understood as a well-defined unity of purpose between the God of Creation and the Jesus of the Gospel.
Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
PTF General Presbyter