Fifth Sunday of Easter (05/14/2017)
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Fifth Sunday of Easter
- The way
- The Father
- What to do
SERMON TEXT: John 14:1-12
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FIRST LESSON: 1 Kings 18:16-45
So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him. Then Ahab came to meet Elijah.
When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is that you, the one who brings disaster on Israel?”
He said, “It is not I who have brought disaster on Israel, but rather you and your father’s house when you abandoned the Lord’s commandments and followed the Baals. But now gather all Israel before me on Mt. Carmel, along with the prophets of Baal and the prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.” So Ahab sent word to all the children of Israel and he assembled the prophets on Mt. Carmel.
Then Elijah spoke to all the people: “How long will you limp around on two crutches? If the Lord is God, follow him. If Baal is God, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a single word.
Then Elijah said to the people, “I am the only one left of the Lord’s prophets, but the prophets of Baal total men. Let two bulls be given to us. Let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it up and set it on the wood. But they are not to set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on wood, but I will not set fire to it. Then you will call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers with fire, he is God.”
All the people said, “This plan is good.”
Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull, and you go first because you are many. Call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to it.”
So they took the bull which he gave them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “Baal! Answer us!” But there was no sound. No one answered. So they danced around the altar which they had made.
When noon came, Elijah mocked them, “Call louder since he is a god, isn’t he? He may be deep in thought or busy or on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep and will wake up!” So they cried out in a loud voice and they cut themselves according to their custom with daggers and spears until the blood flowed on them. Afternoon had passed, they prophesied until the time of the evening sacrifice, but there was no sound. No one answered, and there was no response.
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come to me.” So they came to him. Then he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes of the descendants of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, “Your name will be Israel.” He built the stones into an altar in the name of the Lord. He made a trench that could hold fourteen quarts of seed around the altar. He arranged the wood, cut up the bull, and put it on the wood.
Then he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the sacrifice and on the wood.” Then he said, “Do it again.” So they did it again. Then he said, “Do it a third time.” So they did it a third time. The water ran all around the altar. It even filled the trench.
When the time of the evening sacrifice came, Elijah the prophet said, “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and that by your words I have done all these things. Answer me, O Lord, answer me so that this people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you are turning their hearts back.”
The Lord’s fire fell on the sacrifice and the wood and the stones and the dirt and licked up the water that was in the trench. All the people were afraid and they fell on their knees and said, “The Lord, he is God. The Lord, he is God!”
Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Don’t let a single one of them escape!” So they seized them, and Elijah brought them down to the Kishon River and slaughtered them there.
Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rainstorm.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink, but Elijah went up to the top of Carmel. He bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. He said to his servant, “Go up and look toward the sea.”
So he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.”
But seven times, Elijah told him, “Go back.”
On the seventh time, the servant said, “Look, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
Then Elijah said to him, “Go up and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down so that the rain does not stop you.’”
Meanwhile, the skies darkened with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab got in his chariot and went to Jezreel.
SECOND LESSON: 1 Peter 2:4-10
As you come to him, the Living Stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious, you also, like living stones, are being built as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, in order to bring spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it says in Scripture:
See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who believes in him will certainly not be put to shame.
Therefore, for you who believe, this is an honor. But for those who do not believe:
The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, and, a stone over which they stumble and a rock over which they fall.
Because they continue to disobey the word, they stumble over it. And that is the consequence anointed for them.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, the people who are God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. At one time you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. At one time you were not shown mercy, but now you have been shown mercy.
VERSE OF THE DAY
Alleluia. Alleluia. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia. I am the way, and the truth, and the life, says the Lord. Alleluia.
GOSPEL: John 14:1-12
“Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that you may also be where I am. You know where I am going, and you know the way.”
“Lord, we don’t know where you are going,” Thomas replied, “so how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. If you know me, you would also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
“Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that is enough for us.”
“Have I been with you so long,” Jesus answered, and you still do not know me, Philip? The one who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I am telling you I am not speaking on my own, but the Father who remains in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me. Or else believe because of the works themselves.
“Amen, Amen, I tell you: The one who believes in me will do the works that I am doing. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.