Readings

BELOW ARE THE READINGS FOR THE LAST SUNDAY SERVICE PLUS READINGS FOR FORTHCOMING SUNDAYS

 21 April – Easter Day
Acts 10: 34 – 43

34 Peter began to speak: “I now realize that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis. 35 Those who worship him and do what is right are acceptable to him, no matter what race they belong to. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, proclaiming the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37You know of the great event that took place throughout the land of Israel, beginning in Galilee after John preached his message of baptism. 38 You know about Jesus of Nazareth and how God poured out on him the Holy Spirit and power. He went everywhere, doing good and healing all who were under the power of the Devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses of everything that he did in the land of Israel and in Jerusalem. Then they put him to death by nailing him to a cross. 40 But God raised him from death three days later and caused him to appear, 41 not to everyone, but only to the witnesses that God had already chosen, that is, to us who ate and drank with him after he rose from death. 42 And he commanded us to preach the gospel to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God has appointed judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets spoke about him, saying that all who believe in him will have their sins forgiven through the power of his name.”

John 20:  1 – 18

1 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the entrance. 2 She went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb. 4 The two of them were running, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and saw the linen wrappings, but he did not go in. 6 Behind him came Simon Peter, and he went straight into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there 7 and the cloth which had been round Jesus’ head. It was not lying with the linen wrappings but was rolled up by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand the scripture which said that he must rise from death.) 10 Then the disciples went back home. 11 Mary stood crying outside the tomb. While she was still crying, she bent over and looked in the tomb 12 and saw two angels there dressed in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 “Woman, why are you crying?” they asked her. She answered, “They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!” 14 Then she turned round and saw Jesus standing there; but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 “Woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who is it that you are looking for?” She thought he was the gardener, so she said to him, “If you took him away, sir, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned towards him and said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (This means “Teacher”.) 17 “Do not hold on to me,” Jesus told her, “because I have not yet gone back up to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am returning to him who is my Father and their Father, my God and their God.” 18 So Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and related to them what he had told her.

28 April – Easter 2
Acts 5:  27 – 32

27 They brought the apostles in, made them stand before the Council, and the High Priest questioned them. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in the name of this man,” he said; “but see what you have done! You have spread your teaching all over Jerusalem, and you want to make us responsible for his death!” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied, “We must obey God, not men. 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from death, after you had killed him by nailing him to a cross. 31 God raised him to his right-hand side as Leader and Saviour, to give the people of Israel the opportunity to repent and have their sins forgiven. 32 We are witnesses to these things — we and the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to those who obey him.”

John 20: 19 – 31

1 After this, Jesus appeared once more to his disciples at Lake Tiberias. This is how it happened. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael (the one from Cana in Galilee), the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples of Jesus were all together. 3 Simon Peter said to the others, “I am going fishing.” “We will come with you,” they told him. So they went out in a boat, but all that night they did not catch a thing. 4 As the sun was rising, Jesus stood at the water’s edge, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then he asked them, “Young men, haven’t you caught anything?” “Not a thing,” they answered. 6 He said to them, “Throw your net out on the right side of the boat, and you will catch some.” So they threw the net out and could not pull it back in, because they had caught so many fish.7 The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his outer garment round him (for he had taken his clothes off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples came to shore in the boat, pulling the net full of fish. They were not very far from land, about a hundred metres away. 9When they stepped ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there with fish on it and some bread. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net ashore full of big fish, 153 in all; even though there were so many, still the net did not tear. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 So Jesus went over, took the bread, and gave it to them; he did the same with the fish. 14 This, then, was the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from death. 15 After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.” 16 A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 A third time Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was sad because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” so he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep. 18 I am telling you the truth: when you were young, you used to get ready and go anywhere you wanted to; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will bind you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 (In saying this, Jesus was indicating the way in which Peter would die and bring glory to God.) Then Jesus said to him, “Follow me!”

5 May – Easter 3
Acts 9: 1 – 6

1 In the meantime Saul kept up his violent threats of murder against the followers of the Lord. He went to the High Priest 2 and asked for letters of introduction to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he should find there any followers of the Way of the Lord, he would be able to arrest them, both men and women, and bring them back to Jerusalem. 3 As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed round him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” he asked. “I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said. 6 “But get up and go into the city, where you will be told what you must do.”

John 21: 1 – 19

1 After this, Jesus appeared once more to his disciples at Lake Tiberias. This is how it happened. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael (the one from Cana in Galilee), the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples of Jesus were all together. 3 Simon Peter said to the others, “I am going fishing.” “We will come with you,” they told him. So they went out in a boat, but all that night they did not catch a thing. 4 As the sun was rising, Jesus stood at the water’s edge, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5Then he asked them, “Young men, haven’t you caught anything?” “Not a thing,” they answered. 6 He said to them, “Throw your net out on the right side of the boat, and you will catch some.” So they threw the net out and could not pull it back in, because they had caught so many fish. 7 The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his outer garment round him (for he had taken his clothes off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples came to shore in the boat, pulling the net full of fish. They were not very far from land, about a hundred metres away. 9 When they stepped ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there with fish on it and some bread. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net ashore full of big fish, 153 in all; even though there were so many, still the net did not tear. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and eat.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13 So Jesus went over, took the bread, and gave it to them; he did the same with the fish. 14 This, then, was the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from death. Jesus and Peter 15 After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.” 16 A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 A third time Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was sad because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” so he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep. 18I am telling you the truth: when you were young, you used to get ready and go anywhere you wanted to; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will bind you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 (In saying this, Jesus was indicating the way in which Peter would die and bring glory to God.) Then Jesus said to him, “Follow me!”

12 May – Easter 4
Acts 9: 36 – 43

36 In Joppa there was a woman named Tabitha, who was a believer. (Her name in Greek is Dorcas, meaning “a deer”.) She spent all her time doing good and helping the poor. 37 At that time she became ill and died. Her body was washed and laid in a room upstairs. 38 Joppa was not very far from Lydda, and when the believers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him with the message, “Please hurry and come to us.” 39 So Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, he was taken to the room upstairs, where all the widows crowded round him, crying and showing him all the shirts and coats that Dorcas had made while she was alive. 40 Peter put them all out of the room, and knelt down and prayed; then he turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 Peter reached over and helped her get up. Then he called all the believers, including the widows, and presented her alive to them. 42 The news about this spread all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed on in Joppa for many days with a tanner of leather named Simon.

John 10: 22 – 30

22 It was winter, and the Festival of the Dedication of the Temple was being celebrated in Jerusalem. 23 Jesus was walking in Solomon’s Porch in the Temple, 24 when the people gathered round him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? Tell us the plain truth: are you the Messiah?” 25 Jesus answered, “I have already told you, but you would not believe me. The things I do by my Father’s authority speak on my behalf; 26 but you will not believe, for you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never die. No one can snatch them away from me. 29 What my Father has given me is greater than everything, and no one can snatch them away from the Father’s care. 30 The Father and I are one.”

19 May – Easter 5
Acts 11: 1 – 18

1 The apostles and the other believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 When Peter went to Jerusalem, those who were in favour of circumcising Gentiles criticised him, saying, 3 “You were a guest in the home of uncircumcised Gentiles, and you even ate with them!” 4 So Peter gave them a complete account of what had happened from the very beginning: 5 “While I was praying in the city of Joppa, I had a vision. I saw something coming down that looked like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners from heaven, and it stopped next to me. 6 I looked closely inside and saw domesticated and wild animals, reptiles, and wild birds. 7 Then I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat!’ 8 But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord! No ritually unclean or defiled food has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 The voice spoke again from heaven, ‘Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and finally the whole thing was drawn back up into heaven. 11 At that very moment three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where I was staying. 12 The Spirit told me to go with them without hesitation. These six fellow-believers from Joppa accompanied me to Caesarea, and we all went into the house of Cornelius. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send someone to Joppa for a man whose full name is Simon Peter. 14 He will speak words to you by which you and all your family will be saved.’ 15 And when I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 It is clear that God gave those Gentiles the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; who was I, then, to try to stop God!” 18 When they heard this, they stopped their criticism and praised God, saying, “Then God has given to the Gentiles also the opportunity to repent and live!”

John 13: 21 – 35

21 After Jesus had said this, he was deeply troubled and declared openly, “I am telling you the truth: one of you is going to betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, completely puzzled about whom he meant. 23 One of the disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was sitting next to Jesus. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him and said, “Ask him whom he is talking about.” 25 So that disciple moved closer to Jesus’ side and asked, “Who is it, Lord?” 26 Jesus answered, “I will dip some bread in the sauce and give it to him; he is the man.” So he took a piece of bread, dipped it, and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus said to him, “Be quick about what you are doing!” 28 None of the others at the table understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas was in charge of the money bag, some of the disciples thought that Jesus had told him to go and buy what they needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 Judas accepted the bread and went out at once. It was night. 31 After Judas had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man’s glory is revealed; now God’s glory is revealed through him. 32 And if God’s glory is revealed through him, then God will reveal the glory of the Son of Man in himself, and he will do so at once. 33 My children, I shall not be with you very much longer. You will look for me; but I tell you now what I told the Jewish authorities, ‘You cannot go where I am going.’ 34 And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.”

26 May – Easter 6
Acts 16: 9 – 15

9 That night Paul had a vision in which he saw a Macedonian standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 As soon as Paul had this vision, we got ready to leave for Macedonia, because we decided that God had called us to preach the Good News to the people there. 11 We left by ship from Troas and sailed straight across to Samothrace, and the next day to Neapolis. 12 From there we went inland to Philippi, a city of the first district of Macedonia; it is also a Roman colony. We spent several days there. 13 On the Sabbath we went out of the city to the riverside, where we thought there would be a place where Jews gathered for prayer. We sat down and talked to the women who gathered there. 14 One of those who heard us was Lydia from Thyatira, who was a dealer in purple cloth. She was a woman who worshipped God, and the Lord opened her mind to pay attention to what Paul was saying. 15 After she and the people of her house had been baptised, she invited us, “Come and stay in my house if you have decided that I am a true believer in the Lord.” And she persuaded us to go.

John 5: 1 – 9

1 After this, Jesus went to Jerusalem for a religious festival. 2 Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool with five porches; in Hebrew it is called Bethzatha. 3 A large crowd of sick people were lying in the porches — the blind, the lame, and the paralysed. 5 A man was there who had been ill for 38 years. 6 Jesus saw him lying there, and he knew that the man had been ill for such a long time; so he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 The sick man answered, “Sir, I have no one here to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am trying to get in, somebody else gets there first.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.” 9 Immediately the man got well; he picked up his mat and started walking. The day this happened was a Sabbath,

2 June: Easter 7
Acts 16: 16 – 34

16 One day as we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a young servant woman who had an evil spirit that enabled her to predict the future. She earned a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes. 17 She followed Paul and us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They announce to you how you can be saved!” 18 She did this for many days, until Paul became so upset that he turned round and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I order you to come out of her!” The spirit went out of her that very moment. 19 When her owners realised that their chance of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the authorities in the public square. 20 They brought them before the Roman officials and said, “These men are Jews, and they are causing trouble in our city. 21 They are teaching customs that are against our law; we are Roman citizens, and we cannot accept these customs or practise them.” 22 And the crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas. Then the officials tore the clothes off Paul and Silas and ordered them to be whipped. 23 After a severe beating, they were thrown into jail, and the jailer was ordered to lock them up tight. 24 Upon receiving this order, the jailer threw them into the inner cell and fastened their feet between heavy blocks of wood. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, which shook the prison to its foundations. At once all the doors opened, and the chains fell off all the prisoners. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he thought that the prisoners had escaped; so he pulled out his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted at the top of his voice, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” 29 The jailer called for a light, rushed in, and fell trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 30 Then he led them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your family.” 32 Then they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that very hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; and he and all his family were baptised at once. 34 Then he took Paul and Silas up into his house and gave them some food to eat. He and his family were filled with joy, because they now believed in God.

John 17: 20 – 26

20 “I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message. 21 I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 I gave them the same glory you gave me, so that they may be one, just as you and I are one: 23 I in them and you in me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me. 24 “Father! You have given them to me, and I want them to be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory, the glory you gave me; for you loved me before the world was made. 25 Righteous Father! The world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you sent me. 26I made you known to them, and I will continue to do so, in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and so that I also may be in them.”

9 June – Pentecost
Acts 2: 1 – 21

1 When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. 2 Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. 5 There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious people who had come from every country in the world. 6 When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because each one of them heard the believers speaking in his or her own language. 7 In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! 8 How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages? 9 We are from Parthia, Media, and Elam; from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia; from Pontus and Asia, 10 from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene. Some of us are from Rome, 11 both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia — yet all of us hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things that God has done!” 12 Amazed and confused, they kept asking each other, “What does this mean?” 13 But others made fun of the believers, saying, “These people are drunk!” 14 Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: “Fellow-Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose; it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 Instead, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about: 17 ‘This is what I will do in the last days, God says: I will pour out my Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message; your young men will see visions, and your old men will have dreams. 18 Yes, even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will proclaim my message. 19 I will perform miracles in the sky above and wonders on the earth below. There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke; 20 the sun will be darkened, and the moon will turn red as blood, before the great and glorious Day of the Lord comes. 21 And then, whoever calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.’

John 14: 8 – 17

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father; that is all we need.” 9 Jesus answered, “For a long time I have been with you all; yet you do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Why, then, do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe, Philip, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I have spoken to you,” Jesus said to his disciples, “do not come from me. The Father, who remains in me, does his own work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. If not, believe because of the things I do. 12 I am telling you the truth: those who believe in me will do what I do — yes, they will do even greater things, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask for in my name, so that the Father’s glory will be shown through the Son. 14 If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it. 15 “If you love me, you will obey my commandments. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you for ever. 17 He is the Spirit who reveals the truth about God. The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him. But you know him, because he remains with you and is in you.