Good morning and welcome to St. Mary’s Church
Thanks to all of you who made Palm Sunday and Holy Week and Easter so special here at St. Mary’s. From the choir, the altar guild, acolytes, and readers to those who put the Garden of Repose together and our special Bagpiper, it was a massive effort which produced fine services during this spiritually heightened time. And we should not forget the cooks who put together the brunch after the Easter Services. Thank you all (and especially you Ms. Gwen Walker who produced all the bulletins.
Alleluia, Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed, alleluia!
Ecclesia: Marcus Garvey Park: St. Mary’s is the lead congregation on the first and fifth Sunday each month. Today we will supply the lunches for Ecclesia. The services in Marcus Garvey park start, at 2:pm All are welcome to attend
Leadership Seminar: Vestry members and any others interested are invited to a leadership Seminar at the Cathedral, Saturday April 27, 9:am-1:pm If you are interested in attending , see Father Tom or the Wardens of the Church.
St. Mary’s Homeless Street Outreach: Saturdays, 12:00 noon preparation and 2:00 pm Street Outreach. Please let us know if you can help and keep the Homeless Street Outreach in your prayers.
Father Tom, will be away next week for a funeral in Munich, Germany. The Rev. Rhonda Rubinson, recently Priest-in charge at St. Phillips in Harlem will be taking the services on April 14. Please give her a worm welcome.
Commentary on the Readings by Arthur Cash
First Reading: Acts 5: 27-32
We begin today a series of eight readings from the earliest history of the Church, the Acts of the Apostles. Not history in the modern sense, it is more like the story of the advancements of the Holy Spirit. From as early as the second century, the authorship has been attributed to Luke, the evangelist. Although no certain proof has been found, the vast majority of Biblical scholars have agreed. No doubt Luke had intended his gospel and history of the church to appear together, two volumes of one work, but some ancient editor separated them. Although the church relegates Acts to a position inferior to the gospels, some of its scenes are of primary importance to our religion, especially the assumption of Christ, and the Pentecost. There is much speculation, but no definitive explanation of why late in Acts some passages switch from a third-person narrative to a first-person, the so-called “we passages’ (16:1-17; 20:5-16; 21:1-18; 27:1-28:16).
Second Reading: Revelation 1:4 – 8
We being today with a series of readings from Revelation, a work written to encourage Christians to remain faithful under persecution and, as often was the case, torture.
Today scholars treat apocalyptical narratives as a literary genre. Revelation is the mist fully developed, but others appear in Daniel, Joel, Amos, Zechariah, and the apocryphal books of Baruch and II Esdras. There poetic fiction envision the past as a series of eons or ages, beginning with a golden age and then getting worse and worse until the present time, and age so evil that God will bring to an end. Numerology and astrology gives clues to the approach of the end. Fantastic beasts and elaborately figured angels play a part. As the world nears its end, there are earthquakes, crumbling mountains, blotted-out sun, and other “woes,” often shaped as allegories of historical disasters (the beast of ten horns and seven heads, for instance, represents Rome:13:1). The woes are followed by a battle of the forces of good and evil in which Satan is defeated finally, there is a parousia, in which the “son of man” appears to judge the living and the risen dead. The damned are sent to Sheol, and the good are translated to a new life in a new aeon, a kingdom of God.