This Sunday is the fourth Sunday after Pentecost. We’re in “Year B” of the Revised Common Lectionary, which sets out what readings we use each week. This year we’ll hear gospel passages mostly from the gospel of Mark, and the passages from the Hebrew Scriptures focus on David and the kings of Israel and Judah. (The psalm each week reflects on the reading from the Hebrew Scriptures.)
Here’s what Sundays and Seasons has to say about this week’s gospel: Now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation! Now we are in the storm, the boat almost swamped; but Jesus is here now, and when we call him, he will calm the storm. Even the wind and waves listen to him as they would to their creator. We also listen to him and are called to believe in the power of God’s word in him, a power greater than all that we fear.
We use the image of Jesus calming the storm under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 license. JESUS MAFA. Jesus lulls the storm, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48310 [retrieved June 15, 2021]. Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr (contact page: https://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr/contact).
Here’s what Sundays and Seasons has to say about the readings we’ll hear this week: The mustard seed becomes a great shrub that shelters the birds, recalling ancient images of the tree of life. We’d expect a cedar or a sequoia, but Jesus finds the power of God better imaged in a tiny, no-account seed. It’s not the way we expect divine activity to look. Yet the tree of life is here, in the cross around which we gather, the tree into which we are grafted through baptism, the true vine that nourishes us with its fruit in the cup we share. It may not appear all that impressive, but while nobody’s looking it grows with a power beyond our understanding.
Sundays and Seasons offers this introduction to this week’s readings: A house divided against itself cannot stand. Jesus makes this observation in light of charges that he is possessed. He is possessed, not by a demon, but by the Holy Spirit. We who have received the Holy Spirit through baptism have been joined to Christ’s death and resurrection and knit together in the body of Christ. Those with whom we sing and pray this day are Jesus’ family. With them we go forth in peace to do the will of God.
Join the Church of the Nativity for Sunday Prayers on May 30th! Our new streaming solution has now been set-up, so we will now be streaming to YouTube. Peter will offer music for a few minutes beforehand, and the service will begin at 9:30. It will be visible on YouTube afterwards as well, so if you’re joining in later, that will work just fine. (It may take YouTube a little while to have the video recording of the service listed for later viewing. Just check back on our channel to look for it.)
This Sunday is one of the seven principal feasts of the Church’s year: Trinity Sunday! Our honorary assistant, the Reverend Canon David Linn, will be preaching. Here’s what Sundays and Seasons has to say about this week’s readings.
When we say God is the triune God, we are saying something about who God is beyond, before, and after the universe: that there is community within God. Our experience of this is reflected in Paul’s words today [Note that we won’t be using this reading at the Nativity; you can find it here.] . When we pray to God as Jesus prayed to his Abba (an everyday, intimate parental address), the Spirit prays within us, creating between us and God the same relationship Jesus has with the one who sent him.
Sunday Prayers will be live-streamed to our parish Facebook page beginning at 9:30am on Sunday, 21 March 2021. Music will be offered for a time of quiet preparation for a few minutes beforehand. You don’t need to be a member of Facebook to watch the service!
Here’s what Sundays and Seasons has to say about the fifth Sunday in Lent this year:
God promises Jeremiah that a “new covenant” will be made in the future: a covenant that will allow all the people to know God by heart. The church sees this promise fulfilled in Christ, who draws all people to himself when he is lifted up on the cross. Our baptismal covenant draws us to God’s heart through Christ and draws God’s love and truth into our hearts. We join together in worship, sharing in word, song, and meal, and leave strengthened to share God’s love with all the world.
The readings will be Psalm 29, Acts 19.1—7, and Mark 1.4—11.
Here’s an introduction to the day from Sundays and Seasons:
Our re-creation in baptism is an image of the Genesis creation, where the Spirit of God moved over the waters. Both Mark’s gospel and the story in Acts make clear that it is the Spirit’s movement that distinguishes Jesus’ baptism from John’s. The Spirit has come upon us as upon Jesus and the Ephesians, calling us God’s beloved children and setting us on Jesus’ mission to re-create the world in the image of God’s vision of justice and peace.