The Lessons Appointed for Use on the

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Year B
BCP

Acts 11:19-30
or Isaiah 45:11-13,18-19
1 John 4:7-21
or Acts 11:19-30
John 15:9-17
Psalm 33 or 33:1-8,18-22

The Collect

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The First Lesson

Acts 11:19-30

Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews. But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called "Christians."

At that time prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine over all the world; and this took place during the reign of Claudius. The disciples determined that according to their ability, each would send relief to the believers living in Judea; this they did, sending it to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

or

Old Testament

Isaiah 45:11-13,18-19

Thus says the LORD,
the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Will you question me about my children,
or command me concerning the work of my hands?
I made the earth,
and created humankind upon it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
and I commanded all their host.
I have aroused Cyrus in righteousness,
and I will make all his paths straight;
he shall build my city
and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,
says the LORD of hosts.
For thus says the LORD,
who created the heavens
(he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
(he established it;
he did not create it a chaos,
he formed it to be inhabited!):
I am the LORD, and there is no other.
I did not speak in secret,
in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
"Seek me in chaos."
I the LORD speak the truth,
I declare what is right.

The Psalm

Psalm 33 or 33:1-8,18-22 Page 626, BCP

Exultate, justi

1
Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; *
it is good for the just to sing praises.

2
Praise the LORD with the harp; *
play to him upon the psaltery and lyre.

3
Sing for him a new song; *
sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.

4
For the word of the LORD is right, *
and all his works are sure.

5
He loves righteousness and justice; *
the loving-kindness of the LORD fills the whole earth.

6
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, *
by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.

7
He gathers up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin *
and stores up the depths of the sea.

8
Let all the earth fear the LORD; *
let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.

9
For he spoke, and it came to pass; *
he commanded, and it stood fast.

10
The LORD brings the will of the nations to naught; *
he thwarts the designs of the peoples.

11
But the LORD'S will stands fast for ever, *
and the designs of his heart from age to age.

12
Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD! *
happy the people he has chosen to be his own!

13
The LORD looks down from heaven, *
and beholds all the people in the world.

14
From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze *
on all who dwell on the earth.

15
He fashions all the hearts of them *
and understands all their works.

16
There is no king that can be saved by a mighty army;
a strong man is not delivered by his great strength.

17
The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; *
for all its strength it cannot save.

18
Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, *
on those who wait upon his love,

19
To pluck their lives from death, *
and to feed them in time of famine.

20
Our soul waits for the LORD; *
he is our help and our shield.

21
Indeed, our heart rejoices in him, *
for in his holy Name we put our trust.

22
Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, *
as we have put our trust in you.

1 John 4:7-21

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

Acts 11:19-30

[See above]

The Gospel

John 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples, "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another."

 


Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.


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