Live in Eager Expectation of Glory
These are the readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter.
God’s Word for This Week
Even as we come to the close of the Easter season, the victorious note of Easter still rings out loud and clear. It is the Sunday after the ascension of our Lord, thus there is a spirit of rejoicing over the reigning, glorious Christ. His abiding love continues to sustain us.
Traditional First Lesson – Acts 1:1-14
What persistent misunderstanding about the kingdom of God still troubled the disciples?
The disciples still had trouble realizing that the kingdom of God was not something earthly and visible.
Where is our Jerusalem, “our Judea and Samaria”?
Just as Jerusalem was the city in which the disciples were at this time, our Jerusalem would be the towns and cities in which we live. As we begin to share the Word with those around us, we will easily want to share it beyond that scope, to our “Judea and Samaria.” Through our generous offerings, we are able to send missionaries with the Word to others living not only in our country but also beyond our borders as we reach to the ends of the earth.
Why do you think the angel reminded the disciples that Jesus would return in glory just as they had seen him go?
Little would get done while they stared off into heaven. Jesus would be returning. In the meantime, there was much work to do while it was day.
Supplemental First Lesson – 1 Samuel 1:21-28
What can Hannah teach us about living with trouble or sorrow while we wait for God’s glory?
Afflicted by her rival, Peninnah, Hannah’s troubles seemed neither light nor momentary. Her barrenness brought suffering and sadness that embittered her life, but it did not shake her faith. At the house of the LORD, she cast her cares on him and prayed, expectant of God’s grace and blessing. She humbled herself under God’s mighty hand, and he lifted her up in due time: the son she longed for would become Samuel, the leader of God’s people. On this Sunday of expectation, Hannah’s example shines: she did not focus her eyes on what was seen, on the troubles of this life, but on the unseen eternal glory that God had stored up for her.
Traditional Second Lesson – 1 Peter 4:12-17; 5:6-11
Why is our sinful nature surprised when troubles enter our life?
Our sinful nature shares the world’s view that short-term happiness is evidence of God’s favor.
How does Peter encourage a long-range view of suffering?
The brief pain and persecution that we experience don’t begin to compare with the long-term glory we will have with Christ. (See Romans 8:18.)
What is being described by the word “anxiety”?
In our complex world, we are pulled in every direction. Cares and concerns mount and build, thus we lose our true focus. God’s invitation takes that burden off of us.
Supplemental Second Lesson – 2 Corinthians 4:13-18
How can Paul call our troubles “light and momentary”?
Who thinks that their troubles are light or momentary? When we lose a loved one, face mortal illness, or financial ruin—who would ever think those troubles insignificant or passing? Only people who have a perspective that stretches to the unbounded time of eternity and encompasses the unbounded joy that we eagerly expect there. We believe that one day Christ will present us to the Father for an eternity of glory. Therefore we fix our eyes not on all our problems that we know so well, but on the unseen glory, the eternal glory that we do not yet know, but eagerly expect.
Gospel – John 17:1-11a
Why did Jesus pray, “Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you”?
In praying for the Father to glorify him, Jesus was praying for the successful outcome of his work of salvation. The glory would come with Jesus’ victory over Satan on the cross. Through Jesus, the glory of the Father also shone brightly since all that the Son did was for the Father’s glory.
What comfort do we find in our Savior’s prayer?
As Jesus prays for the disciples’ protection, the Lord shows once more, even in the midst of his own anguish before the cross, how dear his own are to him.