May 3, 2020 - Good Shepherd Sunday

First Lesson


Acts 6:1-9; 7:2a, 51-60
In those days, as the number of disciples was increasing, a complaint arose from the Greek-speaking Jews against the Hebrew-speaking Jews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2So the Twelve called together the whole group of disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Brothers, carefully select from among you seven men with good reputations, who are full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. We will put them in charge of this service. 4But we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.” 5This proposal pleased the entire group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas, a proselyte from Antioch. 6They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 7The word of God kept on spreading, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly. Also a large group of priests became obedient to the faith. 8Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9Some men who were from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia) rose up and disputed with Stephen. 7:2Stephen said, “Gentlemen, brothers and fathers, listen! 51“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit! You are doing just what your fathers did. 52Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who prophesied the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers— 53you who received the law as transmitted by angels, but did not keep it.” 54When they heard these things, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed up into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56He said, “Look, I see heaven opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57But they screamed at the top of their voices, covered their ears, and rushed at him with one purpose in mind. 58They threw him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59While they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” After he said this, he fell asleep.

Meditation


Second Lesson


I Peter 2:19-25
For this is favorable: if a person endures sorrows while suffering unjustly because he is conscious of God. 20For what credit is it to you if you receive a beating for sinning and patiently endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and endure it, this is favorable with God. 21Indeed, you were called to do this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you would follow in his steps. 22He did not commit a sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. 23When he was insulted, he did not insult in return. When he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself carried our sins in his body on the tree so that we would be dead to sins and alive to righteousness. By his wounds you were healed. 25For you were like sheep going astray, but you are now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Meditation


Gospel Lesson


John 10:1-10
“Amen, Amen, I tell you: Anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the door, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The doorkeeper opens the door for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own sheep, he walks ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6Jesus used this illustration in speaking to the people, but they did not understand what he was telling them. 7So Jesus said again, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: I am the door for the sheep. 8All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the door. Whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10“A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Meditation


Sermon: Know the Good Shepherd