Prayer to collect our thoughts on today's theme: O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting, with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Acts 1:8-14: “Jesus Is Taken to Heaven”
8 “Jesus said to the apostles, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.’ 9 After Jesus had said this and while they were watching, he was taken up into a cloud. They could not see him, 10 but as he went up, they kept looking up into the sky. Suddenly two men dressed in white clothes were standing there beside them. 11 They said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here and looking up into the sky? Jesus has been taken to heaven. But he will come back in the same way that you have seen him go.’ 12-13 The Mount of Olives was about half a mile from Jerusalem. The apostles who had gone there were Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon, known as the Eager One, and Judas the son of James. After the apostles returned to the city, they went upstairs to the room where they had been staying. 14 The apostles often met together and prayed with a single purpose in mind. The women and Mary the mother of Jesus would meet with them, and so would his brothers.”
Psalm 23 – “The Good Shepherd” (KJV)
(We are using the 23rd Psalm- KJV until the COVID- 19 crisis is over.)
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.
1st Peter 4:12-19: “Suffering for Doing Right”
Peter wrote, 12 “Dear friends, don't be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire. 13 Be glad for the chance to suffer as Christ suffered. It will prepare you for even greater happiness when he makes his glorious return. 14 Count it a blessing when you suffer for being a Christian. This shows that God's glorious Spirit is with you. 15 But you deserve to suffer if you are a murderer, a thief, a crook, or a busybody. 16 Don't be ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God that you belong to him. 17 God has already begun judging his own people. And if his judgment begins with us, imagine how terrible it will be for those who refuse to obey his message. The Scriptures say, 18 ‘If good people barely escape, what will happen to sinners and to others who don't respect God?’ 19 If you suffer for obeying God, you must have complete faith in your faithful Creator and keep on doing right.”
John 17:1-11: “Jesus Prays”
1 “After Jesus had finished speaking to his disciples, he looked up toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come for you to bring glory to your Son, in order that he may bring glory to you. 2 And you gave him power over all people, so that he would give eternal life to everyone you give him. 3 Eternal life is to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, the one you sent. 4 I have brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, give me back the glory that I had with you before the world was created. 6 You have given me some followers from this world, and I have shown them what you are like. They were yours, but you gave them to me, and they have obeyed you. 7 They know that you gave me everything I have. 8 I told my followers what you told me, and they accepted it. They know that I came from you, and they believe that you are the one who sent me. 9 I am praying for them, but not for those who belong to this world. My followers belong to you, and I am praying for them. 10 All that I have is yours, and all that you have is mine, and they will bring glory to me. 11 Holy Father, I am no longer in the world. I am coming to you, but my followers are still in the world. So keep them safe by the power of the name that you have given me. Then they will be one with each other, just as you and I are one.’”
Next Week’s Lessons
Acts 2:1-11: “The Coming of the Holy Spirit”
Psalm 33: 12-15, 18-22: “Sing Praises to the Lord”
I Corinthians 4-13: “Spiritual Gifts”
John 7:37-39: “Streams of Life-Giving Water”