Christ as the True Vine

“Christ Is Risen”

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Watchword for the week — Jesus says, “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” John 15:4

Sunday, May 2 — Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 22:25-31; 1 John 4:7-21; John 15:1-8

Moses said, “Take to heart all the words that I am giving in witness against you today. This is no trifling matter for you, but rather your very life.” Deuteronomy 32:46,47

May we faithful, may we faithful

in our service be,

truly careful, truly careful

in our ministry;

keep us to your church fast bound,

in the faith preserve us sound,

often weeping, often weeping

grateful tears of joy. (636)

Jesus said, “The word that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63

The word of God, which ne’er shall cease,

proclaims free pardon, grace, and peace,

salvation shows in Christ alone,

the perfect will of God makes known. (509)

Sacred Word, speak to us today. Give us life, give us peace, and guide us ever onwards toward the day we may see your perfect will done on earth. Amen.

(Courtesy: Moravian Daily Texts 2021)


Scripture Read & Listen

Listen here: Psalm 22 read by Tinasha LaRaye in the NKJV

Psalm 22

The Suffering, Praise, and Posterity of the Messiah

To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Deer of the Dawn.” A Psalm of David

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent.

But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in You;
They trusted, and You delivered them.
They cried to You, and were delivered;
They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.

But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They [b]shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
“He [c]trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”

But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
11 Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.

12 Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
13 They [d]gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted [e]within Me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.

16 For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They[f] pierced My hands and My feet;
17 I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.

19 But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
20 Deliver Me from the sword,
My[g] precious life from the power of the dog.
21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!

You have answered Me.

22 I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you [h]descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.

25 My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord.
Let your heart live forever!

27 All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the [i]nations
Shall worship before [j]You.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s,
And He rules over the nations.

29 All the prosperous of the earth
Shall eat and worship;
All those who go down to [k]the dust
Shall bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep himself alive.

30 A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
31 They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this.

Art Study for the Week

Icon of Christ as the true Vine. Public domain images.

John 15:1-17 reads:

15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He [a]takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you[b] will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Love and Joy Perfected

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 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.

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

Hymns & Praises

May Hymn: “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
(Original Lyrics) Author: Louisa M. R. Stead (1882)

1 ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
and to take him at his word;
just to rest upon his promise,
and to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more!

2 O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
just to trust his cleansing blood;
and in simple faith to plunge me
neath the healing, cleansing flood! [Refrain]

3 Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
just from sin and self to cease;
just from Jesus simply taking
life and rest, and joy and peace. [Refrain]


Closing Prayer

Almighty Father God, look mercifully upon the world which You have redeemed by the Holy and precious blood of Your Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and incline the hearts of many to dedicate themselves to the sacred ministry of the inerrant Scriptures; through the same—Your Son, Yeshua Ha’Maschiach—Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Adaptation from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer