Year C Easter 2 | Acts 5:27-32; Psalm 118:14-29; Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31
The Lectionary takes an unusual turn during Eastertide. The first readings come from Acts instead of the Old Testament. The practice enhances Easter’s resurrection message and this week reinforces how resurrection creates faith.
Peter, in this week’s passage of Acts, leads other disciples to give their testimony under threat of arrest. Their daring actions indicate lives so caught up in faith in Jesus that they began to emulate Christ’s boldness against religious restrictions.
The lectionary also returns us to Psalm 118 this week. It highlights verses that support the actions of the church’s first witnesses to Christ’s glory. Encouraged by the Lord’s “right hand” (which we read as Jesus) performing valiant actions, the disciples emulate the Psalmist’s boldness: “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.”
The text in Revelation supports our present faith in Christ’s advent by pointing to Christ’s return. “Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him.” Christ’s resurrection created the faith to testify of Jesus’ ascension and promise to return. The faith is grounded in a belief that all will one day understand what we believe: that Jesus is “the first of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.”
The Lectionary not only reenforces the message of resurrection with readings from the Acts of the Apostles, it chooses to use John’s Gospel each and every year during Eastertide, ignoring the usual three year turn through the synoptics. And this week, there is no stronger passage how resurrection creates faith than that of Thomas’ story. Faced with empirical, physical evidence of the resurrection, he proclaims the message of our faith today: “My Lord and my God!”