<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1758373551078632&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Seventh Sunday of Easter

This Sunday, we focus on the reading from Acts and take our devotion from To the Ends of the Earth: A Journey through Acts.

Scripture Readings

Acts 1:12–26
Psalm 68:1–10
1 Peter 4:12–19; 5:6–11
John 17:1–11

Read the propers for today on lutherancalendar.org.

Introduction

Though we today are not eyewitnesses of Jesus, we can still witness to others about the faith He has given us through His Word and Sacraments. May He use us to share this saving faith with others, that He may create faith in them too and give them everlasting life!

Devotional Reading

Acts 1:8 provides more than a road map, helpful as that is. Here, Jesus briefly indicates the capacity in which the apostles would leave the mount of ascension and go forth to serve in the locations He mentioned. They would be witnesses. This is a key word in Acts, and one which we still use a great deal today. However, it may come as a surprise that we cannot claim to be witnesses to Christ in the same way Acts uses the term to describe Christ’s early followers.

In Acts, witness means eyewitness. And the word eyewitnesses precisely describes what the apostles were. At any time they could be hauled into a court of law to offer firsthand testimony about Jesus of Nazareth, not hearsay. And this is what happened. When the Jewish council ordered Peter and John not to speak in the name of Jesus, Peter said, “We are not able not to speak of the things which we have seen and heard” (4:20, emphasis added). Clearly, Peter was not making the Gospel what he wanted it to be. Instead, he was reporting what God had done in Christ.

The same point emerges in the second half of Acts 1 when the apostles sought a replacement for Judas. Peter said it was necessary for this person to be a witness of Jesus’ resurrection. More than that, Peter also talked about the need to select someone from among the men (he used the Greek word for males) who had been with them during the whole time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among them (1:20–22).

This emphasis on eyewitness testimony is reminiscent of words Jesus spoke to His disciples the night before He died. He said, “You will be witnesses because you are the ones with Me from the beginning” (John 15:27).

Devotional reading is from To the Ends of the Earth: A Journey through Acts, pages 43–44 © 1997 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Hymn

Hymn is “Christ Is the World’s Redeemer,” hymn 539 from Lutheran Service Book. Video © 2017 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

 

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

Featured

feast-2

Teaching Parables: The Wedding Feast and the Great Banquet

Like other parables, Jesus uses this allegory to present more than one lesson. On one hand, Christ admonishes those present and the reader...

Devotions-On--The-Lord-is-My-Shepard-Ill-Not-Want

Hymn Devotions: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want

David is clear. The Lord is his Shepherd. The verb is powerful. Not “if only” the Lord were my Shepherd, or “one cannot ever know for sure”...

going-to-church

Connecting Students’ Families to Church

The task to bring young families to church can be daunting, but teachers have a unique position in the mission field. Teachers have the...

Latest

feasts-festivals-commemorations-red

Devotion for Holy Cross Day

Today the Church celebrates Holy Cross Day. The Gospel reading is John 12:20-33, where Jesus speaks of the cross upon which He will be...

Devotions-On--The-Lord-is-My-Shepard-Ill-Not-Want

Hymn Devotions: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want

David is clear. The Lord is his Shepherd. The verb is powerful. Not “if only” the Lord were my Shepherd, or “one cannot ever know for sure”...

propers-green

Pentecost 13 Devotion on Salt and Discipleship

The Gospel for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost is Luke 14:25-35, where Jesus speaks of the cost of discipleship.