St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Maple Glen, Pennsylvania

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Readings and Reflections for the Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 3:12-19
1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24:36b-48

Dear Friends,

Luke 24:36b-48:  We look once again at Jesus as he appears to his disciples and see the common (and understandable!) pattern of fear and doubts before his very real (and very strange!) presence assures them: “See my hands and feet…handle me and see…”  Luke also includes the sharing of food, and the risen Lord teaching them how to understand the scriptures (Old Testament).  They are commissioned as witnesses, but here in Luke also told to wait until they are “clothed with power from on high” which points us to Pentecost.

Acts 3:12-19: Here we are shown the disciples in action, encouraged by the risen Lord and empowered by the Spirit at Pentecost. They heal a man in the name of Jesus, and boldly proclaim Him to the people who gather when a man lame from birth is healed.  The basic invitation of repentance for the forgiveness of sins is offered to the crowd. The Good News has begun to spread!

1 John 3:1-7: The note in the Revised Standard Version Study Bible says it well: “God’s love, in making us his children, progressively produces resemblance to him, here and hereafter.”  The note also points out that the comment about sin can be read to mean that no one who abides in him sins “habitually and constantly.” The idea here is not some kind of moral perfection and sinless life, but a life that is growing more and more like Christ.

Comment: On the one hand, we all resemble our neighbors of no professed faith or other faiths as we go about earning a living and caring for our family and friends. But even if only in subtle ways, we also have a difference at work in us because we have seen the Lord, who is risen, who comes to us, teaches us, and sends the Spirit to dwell with us. How does that look in my life, and what should I do to allow the light of Christ to shine more brightly in and through me?  How amazing is this good news that we have a Father God who loves us, desires that we grow to resemble his Son, and gives the Spirit to lead those who hope in Him!

David S. Robinson, Rector
Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church
Maple Glen, PA 19002