Grace Northeast Sunday Sermons

Making Space — May 19, 2019

May 20, 2019
FIRST READING Acts 11:1-18
The apostles and the believers in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, “Why did you visit and eat with uncircumcised men?” 
Peter explained: “Before all that happened, I was praying, and I saw a vision. It looked like a large sheet coming down from heaven, lowered by its four corners. I stared at it, and I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air -- all kinds of unclean animals. Then I heard a voice: ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ I protested, ‘No, Lord! Nothing unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call unclean.’ This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 
“At that very moment three Gentile men arrived at the house, looking for me. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to draw lines between them and us. Six fellow believers also went, and we entered a man’s house, a centurion named Cornelius. He told us how he had seen an angel who told him, ‘Send to Joppa and find a believer named Peter; he will give you a message of salvation.’ And as I began to preach, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as it had upon us; they began to speak in tongues and praise our God. Then I remembered how Jesus, when he was with us, had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So then, if God gave these uncircumcised people the same gift given to us when we believed in Jesus, who was I to hinder God?” When the believers heard this, they were silenced, and then they praised God, saying, “God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.” 
SECOND READING Revelation 21:1-6
The revelator writes: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, beautiful like a bride on her wedding day.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among people.
God will dwell with them, and they will be God’s people.
God will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for everything old has passed away.”
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”
THE GOOD NEWS John 13:31-35
After Jesus had washed the feet of the disciples, and Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in God, and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the religious leaders so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow.’ 
But I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”