Acts 10.34-43 Psalm 118.14-29 Colossians 3.1-4 John 20.1-18
The celebration of the Feast of the
Resurrection of our Lord (Easter) comprises, actually, four distinct services:
The Great Vigil of Easter is celebrated after sundown on Saturday. Up to nine lessons are used, together with a psalm or canticle after each lesson. The lessons summarize the history of salvation as found in the Old Testament, and thus summarize revelation up to the advent of Jesus.
The early service (which may be a “sunrise” service) on Easter Day uses one of the Old Testament lessons from the Vigil, plus Psalm 114, Romans 6.3-11, and Matthew 28.1-10.
The lessons for the primary service are included in this Bible Study summary.
The evening service begins with Acts 5.29a, 30-32 or Daniel 12.1-3, includes Psalm 114, proceeds to 1 Corinthians 5.6b-8 or Acts 5.29a, 30-32, and concludes with Luke 24.13-49.
selection from Acts includes a speech given by Peter at the conversion of St.
Cornelius and his household.
Cornelius is a Roman soldier (a
centurion) and thus a Gentile. Ch.
10 of Acts relates how Cornelius (in response to prayer) is instructed to
summon Peter. Peter has a vision that
all things are clean to God, i.e., that the “kosher” restrictions
of the Law do not obtain for Christians.
Following this vision, Peter is summoned to
While Peter is meeting with Cornelius,
Peter gives the speech contained in this lesson.
The Good News is preached to
Following this speech, the Holy Spirit comes
upon Cornelius and his household, whereupon Peter baptizes them.
This is the only example in Scripture of
the Baptism of the Spirit preceding baptism with water.
whole sequence involving Cornelius and Peter is the very pivot of Luke’s
argument in Acts: that the Gospel is for
all people, and that the Gospel must be witnessed to “to the end of the earth”
Peter’s sermon changes the
proclamation typical throughout Acts, of a call to repentance, to a
proclamation of universal forgiveness of the one appointed judge of the
Compare Paul’s argument at Acts 17.30-31
and 1 Thess. 1.10.
speculation. Cornelius, and the
centurion who meets Jesus at Capernaum (Mtt. 8.5, whose faith Jesus praises),
and the centurion at the head of the execution party (Mk. 15.39, who states
that Jesus the “Son of God”) were all senior non-commissioned officers in the
same Roman legion. This was a small
group of NCO’s, and they were likely to have known each other. Did prior conversation prime Cornelius for
individual song of thanksgiving.
Vv. 15-19 are a “victory shout” and
petition to enter the Temple; 20-25 and 26-28 being praise to God offered
in the Temple’ with v. 29 being an exhortation to offer praise.
V. 14 is a citation from Exodus
15.2a, from Israel’s classical victory song, with Exodus 15.2b being
paraphrased at the end of this praise section (at v. 28).
same stone which the builders rejected” (v. 22) represents, probably, an
In the psalm this may refer either to
the king’s rise to power (this is a Davidic hymn) or to his recent
This saying appears at Matt. 21.42
and Acts 4.11. See also 1
Cor. 3.11; Eph. 2.20; 1 Pet. 2.7-8.
cry “Hosannah” (v. 25) comes from the Hebrew verb hôšî’a-nnā’, which
means “save us!”
Crying “hosannah” (as at Jesus’ entry
into Jerusalem), is therefore an acclamation which acknowledges lordship
and pleads for deliverance.
beginning of ch. 3, Paul summarizes his teaching of the previous chapters, in
order to effect a transition to the detailed ethical teaching which is to
follow in the balance of the letter.
the right hand of God” (v.1): Paul uses
this creedal statement, based on Psalm 110.1, to show that the messianic
promises contained throughout Scripture have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
the resurrection has already taken place, Paul urges the Colossians to
understand that all of the conditions of the end time are not yet present. During the “gap” between the resurrection and
the end of time, Christians are to focus on their heavenly calling.
four gospel accounts describe women coming to Jesus’ tomb and finding it
empty. All accounts tell of Peter
confirming that the tomb is empty, and also how Jesus appears to various
writing long after the event, incorporates narrative tradition.
Mary Magdalene is described as coming to the tomb alone, but in v. 2 she tells
Peter “… we do not know where they have paid him.” This corroborates the other accounts which
refer to women coming to the tomb.
John’s account is a brief report of Mary’s discovery,
followed by a longer account of Peter and the Beloved Disciple at the tomb.
The Beloved Disciple does not enter the
tomb. He relies on the report of
Mary. Then Peter enters, and the Beloved
Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic tradition, Mary is referred to as “apostle
to the apostles,” since she is the first one to bring the news that Jesus is
risen, saying “I have seen the Lord!) (v.18).
much for the argument that the Church has always accorded a low status to
tells Mary to not hold onto Him, for He has not yet gone to the Father. Mary has first not known where Jesus is, and
now she seeks to hold Him, although He has already told the disciples where He
He returns to the Father (13.1-3;
14.12, 28; 17.21-26).
He abides with His disciples (14.3,
18, 20, 23, 28).
uses four different words for sight/perception.
They are used, in order, to demonstrate the increasing awareness of the
reality of resurrection. This is not at
all clear in English, with most translations using versions of the verb “to see”
in all four instances.
When Mary Magdalene sees that
the stone has been taken away from the tomb (Jn. 20.1) the word used is a
form of blepō. This refers
to the physical act/sensation of seeing, as in to “eyeball” something.
This same word is used to describe how the Belovèd
Disciple sees that the tomb is empty (Jn. 20.5).
In v. 6, Peter is described as seeing
that the tomb is empty. The word
used is a form of theoreō (from which
we get the English word “theory”).
This involves thinking about what is perceived.
When the Belovèd Disciple enters the
tomb (v. 8) the word used to describe how he sees the absence of
Jesus is a form of eideō (from which we get the word “idea”). This involves perceiving and
classifying; trying to make sense out of what is perceived.
When Mary Magdalene see the angels in
the tomb (v. 11) she sees them in the sense of theoreō. This same word is used in v. 14,
when she sees the risen Jesus, but thinks that He is the gardener.
Having seen the risen Lord,
spoken with Him, and acclaimed, Him, Mary now comes tot he disciples and
says “I have seen the Lord” (v. 18) using a form of the word horaō,
which describes sight in terms of experience. Mary has experienced the risen Lord.
Our own faith and experience in Jesus
is outlined (in terms of how it grows) in how the disciples see
that Jesus has risen.
Happy Easter to my parish
family. Thank you for your efforts
during these last weeks to try and stay connected and participate in Lent and
Holy Week while under the Shelter in Place edict. You watched videos… you did devotions and
activities as individuals. Many of you made pilgrimages to the parish to adore
our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and on the Cross. Many of you reached out and let others know
you were thinking about them and praying for them. You called and wrote letters and let others
know they are not alone and they are important.
You took the time to use the situation and bring goodness and kindness
forth. God bless you all for that. My
heart is filled with joy.
And while Easter Day should
find us gathered on the parish lawn in our Easter Best, hunting eggs and having
a lovely tea- we are all home. While we
should be marveling at the beauty of the adorned parish overflowing with flowers…
while we should be trembling with joy at the sounds bursting forth from the
choir… we are all home. But fear not! You are a determined people. This will not
spoil Easter Joy. You will find ways to
celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. You will find ways to make Easter bloom with
the beauty of Life overcoming death. To
aide you in our celebrations, we have on offer Easter Day mass with a link to
the bulletin, a Bible study for the day and the certainty that prayers are
offered for you all. The links to these
things are below, and again, thank you for your efforts to participate as fully
For those of you who enjoyed making
pilgrimage to the parish, we have a treat in store for you. Randy Jackson and Carolyn Ruth Stancil have
put together flowers for the altar and if you come to say a prayer you will be
treated with a taste of Easter joy. A
tip of the biretta to them for taking the time to adorn the parish altar. The flowers will stay up for a few days (I’m
writing this on Saturday morning- with the threat of severe weather on Easter
Day I’m guessing we will have to wait until Easter Monday to make
While I did the worst possible
job at sending out a survey (emailing the link to edit the survey really threw
a spanner in the works!) I did get enough responses to get an idea of how to
proceed until the shelter in place is lifted and we can worship together
again. So Easter week look for the daily
reflections to continue, with the addition of education videos and prayer
office videos, and maybe even a musical offering or two. Please continue to communicate what you need
and what you like. It is also extremely
helpful to click the like button on videos (that is, if you like them), in that
it helps them float in a sea of media.
It also gives me an idea of what kind of things are working. You can click the send notifications button to
receive notice when new videos are published.
Several of you wanted a
Youtube channel for the parish, and we have one.
It is here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjmRr8NxXGEZkaPiUIUiaNA
Enjoy Easter Day in the
knowledge that you are held in prayer.
Enjoy this day knowing Christ our Lord has destroyed death and we have
been granted life. Enjoy this day in the hope that this will be the most
unusual Easter you will ever have to celebrate.
May God, in His mercy, bless
us one and all. May Christ, in His love
for mankind, grant us all grace upon grace, and may the Holy Spirit pour down
light and grace and protection upon our houses.
He is Risen!
Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten
Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting
life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection,
may be raised from the death of sin by thy life-giving Spirit; through the same
Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Blessings and prayers on
the Good and Holy Friday. The parish
family is in my thoughts and prayers. Please
take the time today to participate in the Liturgy. We have also set the crucifix up outside the
church at the front doors and you are all welcomed and encouraged to come by
and take a moment to adore our Lord and give thanks for His sacrifice. God bless you all.
ALMIGHTY God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy
family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given
up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now
liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the
whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified; Receive our supplications
and prayers, which we offer before thee for all estates of men in thy holy
Church, that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may truly
and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
MERCIFUL God, who hast made all men, and hatest
nothing that thou hast made, nor desirest the death of a sinner, but rather
that he should be converted and live; Have mercy upon all who know thee not as thou
art revealed in the Gospel of thy Son. Take from them all ignorance, hardness
of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to
thy fold, that they may be made one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our
Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world
without end. Amen.
Blessings to one and all on this Thursday in Holy Week. Today we celebrate Maundy Thursday, which is
a feast that remembers the institution of the Holy Eucharist, today remembers
as well the new command to love one another which is symbolized in the washing of
feet. The celebration of the day ends in
a somber tone by the stripping of the altar, which remembers the arrest and
taking of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have tried our best to provide worship and the ministry
of the Church in these days of social isolation. We have made available the mass for Maundy
Thursday (see links below). From 12pm
until dark the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed right inside the doors of the
Nave. The faithful are encouraged to
walk by or drive by, stop and adore our Lord in the Sacrament, and say
prayers. You do not have to come inside
the parish… at the bottom of this resource page you will find a prayer to be
said in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. In the evening, you are encouraged to eat your
meal in a fashion that observes the day, and to wash one another’s feet. A devotion for use in the home has been prepared
by Fr. Karl and is linked below.
I hear thy voice, O Lord Jesus, saying: “Come unto me, all
ye that travail and are heavy-laden, and I will refresh you.” I come unto thee
weary and laden with my sins and with the cares and distractions of the world.
Let me rest awhile in thy sacred presence; let my heart find rest in thy most
Sacred Heart. Let me lie safe there and be at rest. Let nothing separate me
from thee, here in this world or in the world to come. Amen.
Good Samaritan (on Ellisville Blvd.) feeds more than 100 people every day, M—F. Good Samaritan has suspended its meal service in-house and is providing meals-to-go for the those in greatest need in Laurel. Good Samaritan needs your help. What they need is: 1. Covered carry-out plates 2. Cooking oil 3. Milk 4. Individual size snacks 5. Bread If you can help, text Fr. Karl at 920-889-7190. You may also leave supplies at the office door.
Last Wednesday night, I was in our church, reflecting on a gift of kindness to my daughter that was given earlier that evening. Elizabeth could not tune her new ukulele and one of our parishioners was generous enough to help her. I remember Elizabeth saying, “Thank you,” as we departed, and I thought how easy it is for someone to show their gratitude by saying those two words.
So, as I sat in a pew that evening, I reflected on what I was grateful for and how well was I showing it. Several years ago, someone asked me this and what actions was I taking to express my gratitude. I remember struggling with an answer.
Today, I remind myself of God’s gifts and in what ways am I demonstrating my gratitude for I believe that is what He desires of me. It is easy for me to say “thank you” to God, but I should strive to turn my gratitude into action. Helping others and our church are great examples but ones I sometimes struggle with. Giving our time freely is not always as easy as it looks, but how does someone like Father Jeff and other parishioners make it appear so? I believe they approach their actions with an attitude of gratitude.
God breaths life into us each morning, offers us salvation, provides a church we can freely worship in (unlike in some areas of the world), and a priest who gives selflessly and tirelessly of his time. Those are gifts I often take for granted.
Moving forward I plan on routinely asking myself what more can I do to show my gratitude in action to God and Saint John’s Episcopal Church. Showing up regularly for Sunday service is a simple one I plan to improve upon. Helping others is another. Finally, I plan to review my pledge giving and prayerfully reflect if there is more I can do because I too would like to see our church thrive by employing an assistant priest who can support Fr Jeff and our parish.
As this stewardship season approaches, please join me in self-reflection on how satisfied we are with our attitude of gratitude and what we could do more of in our actions to help our beloved church and her parish.
Rand McLaughlin, Jr. Warden
Help Us Support the Laurel Soup Kitchen
In an effort to help feed the hungry in our Community, we will begin collecting CANNED VEGETABLES to support the Good Samaritan Soup Kitchen in feeding the hungry of Jones County. Please bring your canned vegetables – beans, peas, corn, collard greens, butter beans, carrots, etc. to the church and place them in the box in the nave or the box by the parish office. We will get your donations to the Soup Kitchen for their use in providing meals to those in need. Thank you for helping us help the neediest in Laurel.
Children’s Christian Education
It’s that time again! With the start of school fast approaching, we have decided to start Sunday School for all ages AUGUST 12TH AT 9:15am. Please plan to join us Sunday mornings for what promises to be an exciting year in our Christian Education program. Our teachers are ready, new curriculum has arrived and the only thing we need now is YOU. As always, doughnuts and coffee are available prior to the start of Sunday School.
The Altar Guild is comprised of a group of individual who are in the service of the Altar and who serve at the pleasure of the priest. The “normal” care and replacement of altar items are included in our annual budget each year. Yet, there are special “extras” that may not be in the budget and as a group the Altar Guild would love to be able to provide for the church in special ways.
With this in mind, The Altar Guild is selling stainless steel tumblers as a fund-raiser. These high quality mugs are perfect for outdoor activities and travel. Color engraved with Saint John’s Episcopal Church, the Episcopal flag and Laurel, Mississippi they are selling for $25.00 each. Contact any of the Altar Guild members or the church office while supplies last. Supply is limited.
Make checks payable to: SAINT JOHN’S ALTAR GUILD
Sign up to feed our E.Y.C.
We need your help feeding our E.Y.C. members on Sunday evenings beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the parish. There is a sign up sheet located on the board in the sacristy hallway with dates that are available. For more information, contact the Parish Office.
2018 FLOWER CHART
The Altar Flower Chart for 2018 is on the board in the Sacristy hallway and we need the faithful to sign up to take a Sunday in memory or thanksgiving of someone or an event. If you are unable to come to the parish to sign up, you are more than welcome to call the parish office with a date you would like and we will try our best to accommodate you. When a person takes a Sunday, they contact the parish to make known their thanksgiving/memorial wording for the Sunday bulletin. Mr. Randy Jackson of Flowertyme is a communicant, but you may choose which florist you would like to deal with, or you can make the arrangement yourself and place them in the sanctuary.
An Easy Way to Help St. John’s Day School
Start clipping BOX TOPS for Education! Hundreds of products participate in the program, and you probably already have several in your pantry, freezer and refrigerator. For every Box Top you clip, St. John’s Day School will receive 10 cents!!! That may not sound like a lot, but it adds up quickly. There are no limitations on the money’s use, so St. John’s can spend it as needed.
Grab your scissors and keep an eye out for the Box Tops for Education logo on the products you use every day. Once you have finished the product, clip the Box Top before you throw it away. Be sure to look over the whole box. There is a container labeled for your Box Tops on the table in the hallway.
O God, our heavenly Father, make the door of this Church wide enough that all who need human love and fellowship and a Fathers care may find it, and narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and uncharitableness. Here may the tempted find help, and the sorrowing receive comfort. Here may the careless be awakened to repentance, and the penitent be assured of your mercy. And here may all your children renew their strength in You, and go on their way rejoicing. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Saint Johns Episcopal Church
541 North 5th Ave./ P.O. Box 1766
Laurel, MS 39441