New Revised Standard Version
Scripture Summaries for April 2021 – Year B
Scripture Summary For Holy Thursday – Year B (April 1) by Rev. Shelley McVea
Exodus 12:1-14: Here God begins a new work among the Israelites. It is a beginning that they are to celebrate in perpetuity. This is the day that God will rescue his people from slavery. He will do this through the gentlest of animals. If a lamb is slain and its blood put on the lintel of each household's door, those inside will be spared. This will become the Passover feast for the Jewish people right into 21st century.
Psalm 116:1, 10-17: The psalmist begins his prayer with, “I love the Lord because...”. In response to God's kindness, the psalmist outlines the many actions he will take in thanksgiving. “I will call on the Lord. I will lift up the cup of salvation. I will fulfill my vows”. The final action will be God's as God welcomes his precious ones in death.
I Corinthians 11:23-26: St. Paul reminds the readers of his letter that when they (we) celebrate the Lord's supper, we are doing it in obedience to Christ. Whenever we eat and drink we are remembering the fact of Christ's death and all that it means. As the Jewish Passover meal remembers the deliverance from slavery in Egypt; the celebration of Christ's death remembers that it was to deliver all humanity from the crippling effect of sin on our lives.
John 13:1-17, 31b-35: John shares here the intimate details of Jesus' last night on earth. It is a poignant Passover dinner with his followers. Christ shows his true greatness in the humble act of washing his disciples' feet. He attempts to prepare them for the horror of what will happen in the next hours, but they are not able to understand. He wants to assure them that God loves them, and that they are to continue in this love.
Scripture Summary For Good Friday – Year B (April 2) by Rev. Shelley McVea
Isaiah 52:13-53:12: This picture of the suffering servant can be seen as the people of Israel. Isaiah's image of the suffering servant also takes on a new significance as early Christians begin to see in this a picture of the suffering of Jesus Christ. This servant would be raised up and many would be appalled at his appearance. He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was pierced for our transgressions and wounded for our iniquities. We have heard this passage read and sung so often in conjunction with Jesus Christ that we forget that it was written 400-500 years before He was born.
Psalm 22: This well known Psalm was written by King David. It's opening words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” have become the cry of many who suffer great pain and lose. Jesus cries these words from the Cross. His mockers, knowingly or unknowingly even hurl the insults of verse back on him. “He trusts in the Lord, let the Lord rescue him”. As we pray for all those who suffer, and as we reflect especially on Christ's pain and sacrifice on our behalf, the psalmist also reminds us that the whole earth will ultimately be drawn to this suffering One.
Hebrews 10:16-25: Here The writer of the Hebrews reminds us that because of the sacrifice of Christ and his resurrection we now have full access to God the Father. This encourages us to persevere in the faith. Let us continue to meet together so that we can encourage each other with this message of hope and forgiveness.
John 18:1-19:42: John presents his version of the Passion story. The story is prefaced by “Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him...”. This is a more serene picture of the suffering servant than the other gospels present. Jesus is fully in charge, even as He is the prisoner of both the religious authorities and the political masters. Read through this passage and compare it to the other three gospels' account of Christ's passion.
Scripture Summary For the Easter Sunday–Yr B (April 4) by Rev. Shelley McVea
Acts 10:34-43: In this powerful sermon by Peter, he summarizes the gospel. The message of God began with the people of Israel, but the message has not stayed there. It is now available to anyone who chooses to listen and believe. And what is this message? That God in Christ was put to death. God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. We have witnessed this event. God has given us the message of reconciliation for the whole world; the forgiveness of sins for all.
Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24: This song of praise reminds us that God is with the righteous no matter what they are experiencing in life. The Psalmist wants to thank God for giving him salvation and allowing him to live. God alone delivers him. Therefore he will praise and sing. He longs to enter God's temple so that he can praise him. This psalm can also be seen as an anticipation of Jesus as the true temple of God, becoming the chief cornerstone of the new temple of God.
I Corinthians 15:1-11: In this powerful letter from Paul, he summarizes the gospel. That God in Christ was put to death for our sins. God the Father raised Jesus from the dead according to the scriptures. The risen Christ appeared to the disciples and many others. He appeared lastly to Paul. Paul has worked tirelessly to share the message of God's reconciling love. Through this sharing of the gospel, the Corinthians have come to believe.
Mark 16:1-8: Easter morning begins before dawn as the female followers of Jesus go to the tomb to anoint his dead body. They are worried about who will roll the stone away from the tomb. When they arrive, they find that someone has already been there before them. The stone is rolled away and a young man sits inside the tomb with a story they cannot believe and a commission they are afraid to carry out. Here Mark's story ends abruptly. Has the end of the scroll been cut off? Did Mark mean to end his gospel like this? Early Christians added verses 9 to 20 to complete the story.
Scripture Summary for the 2nd Sunday of Easter –Yr B (April 11) by Rev. Shelley McVea
Acts 4:32-35: The early followers of Jesus immediately showed the effects of following a risen Saviour. Their lives manifested great power and grace. Their words brought salvation to many. Their deeds were like living beatitudes. Each one in the community was cared for and all were of a common mind and heart.
Psalm 133: The Psalmist chronicles the joy that happens when we are able to live together in harmony. It is like a king being anointed; like a priest being consecrated. It is like the beauty of nature early in the morning when dew waters the landscape. And where does this shalom come from? It comes from the Lord.
I John 1:1-2-2: Here John witnesses to what has happened because of Jesus Christ. His witness is trustworthy because he was with the original disciples and saw the resurrected Christ. He writes so that all people will have the opportunity to believe. The message is that God is light and our friendship with Him is based on this light shining in us. This means acknowledging our sins and not trying to hide them. We don’t have to fear this, however, as God will forgive us and not let darkness continue to dwell in us.
John 20:9-31: It is now evening on Resurrection Day. Jesus appears to his disciples and gives them an awesome new assignment. It is a task that is so daunting that it can only be fulfilled in the power of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately Thomas is not present when Jesus appears. Jesus makes a special visit for Thomas, and gives a blessing to all of us who have believed without seeing Him. The writer of John tells us that he had many more stories that he could have shared; but these were written down so that we all might believe and be given life in Jesus’ name.
Scripture Summary for the 3rd Sunday of Easter –Yr B (April 18) by Rev. Shelley McVea
Acts 3: 12-19: Throughout the Easter season we continue with our readings in the book of Acts, showing the events of the early church – the new Easter people. Peter, often so impetuous in the Gospels, has now become a confident, Spirit filled leader. He has healed a man in the power of Jesus’ name. Here he articulates the Gospel message to the crowd that witnessed the miracle. He lifts up the risen Jesus Christ and calls his listeners to repentance and new life.
Psalm 4: This David Psalm is a plea for rescue from his enemies. He cries to God for assistance. Then he rebukes his foes for their false lifestyles. He pleads with God not only for himself, but for all who suffer because of the duplicity of others. By verse 7/8 his fear and anxiety is lessened and he can rest and sleep, knowing that God will take care of him.
I John 3:1-7: Here the beloved disciple John gives us a glimpse into our new identity in Christ. Right now we can count ourselves as children of God. And for the future? We can’t even describe how wonderful that will be when we see Jesus face to face. In the meantime we keep short accounts with sin and live in the righteousness that is found in Jesus Christ.
Luke 24:36B-48: The Easter post-Resurrection stories centred around Jesus’ physical appearances to his followers. He was not a ghost, and this was not “wish-full” thinking on the part of the apostles. Jesus shows them his wounds from the cross. He invites them to touch him. He asks for fish to eat. It’s broiled (not fried or baked) – hardly a detail that would be needed if these were just mythical stories. He gave the disciples new understanding into Scripture. Their confidence and joy in the midst of the coming opposition and persecution was because of the certainty of what they had seen.
Scripture Summary for the 4th Sunday of Easter –Yr B (April 25) by Rev. Shelley McVea
Acts 4: 5-12: John and Peter stand before the court, accused of healing a man in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Peter, now filled with the Holy Spirit, no longer denies Jesus, but gives a bold defense of the gospel. Peter sees Jesus as the Saviour of the entire world. His name will bring salvation to all who call upon him.
Psalm 23: This is probably the most famous of all the Psalms. David’s image of the Lord as our shepherd appeals to our need for security and serenity. David undoubtedly used his own care for his flocks as a basis for his poetry. From still water to darkest valley, the Shepherd will provide and protect in all circumstances. Maybe this week would be a good opportunity to ponder this psalm before you begin each day. This morning we will sing one the many well known hymn tunes for this psalm, rather than saying it.
I John 3:16-24: Again John tells us of the One who laid down his life for us. We now have his holy spirit in us, so we too are called to lay down our lives for each other. We do this by sharing our worldly goods with those in need. Our faith results in deeds, not just in spoken words. We have assurance of our salvation because of our obedience to God, and because of his Spirit that abides within us.
John 10:11-18: Here we are shown that Jesus is our Good Shepherd. He protects us in all circumstances. He loves us so much that he will lay down his life for us. He does this willingly. Jesus tells us that He knows us, but we also will know him. He has many sheep – an early picture of the spread of the gospel to all peoples and tribes.