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Worship Resources for the week of the Seventh Sunday in Easter, May 29, 2022

Acts 16:16-34
16 One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a
spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 17
While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, These men are slaves of the Most
High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation." 18 She kept doing this for many
days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, I order you in the
name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour. 19 But when
her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas
and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. 20 When they had
brought them before the magistrates, they said, These men are disturbing our city; they
are Jews 21 and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt
or observe. 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them
stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After they had
given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep
them securely. 24 Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and
fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and
singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was
an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and
immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened. 27
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and
was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But
Paul shouted in a loud voice, Do not harm yourself, for we are all here. 29 The jailer
called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then
he brought them outside and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 They
answered, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.
32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 At the
same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire
family were baptized without delay. 34 He brought them up into the house and set food
before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in

Psalm 97
1 The LORD is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!

2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the
foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him, and consumes his adversaries on every side.
4 His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.
7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, those who make their boast in worthless
idols; all gods bow down before him.
8 Zion hears and is glad, and the towns of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O
9 For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
10 The LORD loves those who hate evil; he guards the lives of his faithful; he rescues
them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
12 See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone's
work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the
end. 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the
tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.
16 It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the
root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. 17 The Spirit and the bride
say, Come. And let everyone who hears say, Come. And let everyone who is thirsty
come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.
20 The one who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming soon. Amen. Come,
Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.
John 17:20-26
20 I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me
through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in
you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22
The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we
are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the
world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved
me. 24 Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me 
where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before
the foundation of the world. 25 Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I
know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made your name known to them,
and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them,
and I in them.

Sometimes John’s Gospel is hard to understand. The section that is our reading for this
week is part of a much longer piece. In the first section Jesus is praying for himself. In
the second section he is praying for his disciples. In the third section (of which this
reading is a part) he is praying for all of the disciples that are yet to be and what our
witness will be to the world. He calls on us to witness to an abundant life of unity, but
he’s not trying to explain that oneness, he’s trying to offer an experience of that
oneness. One of my colleagues put it this way: It’s like he took a thesaurus to see how
many words he could find to describe the abundance of being in a relationship with
God. The promise of eternal life is not a place, it is God’s presence in the world and our
presence in the world witnessing through our love. When we are one with God and with
each other, God’s glory is evident in us. God’s glory is the love God shares with all of
us and that we share with others.

Questions to ponder
1. What does unity mean to you?
2. Is it possible to be in unity and still disagree?
3. When have you felt unity in life? Where was the unity? With whom did you feel

Let us pray…
Glorious God, you love all of us and want us to have abundant life. Your
salvation has restored wholeness to us individually and collectively. Empower us to live
into abundant life by sharing the love you have given us with all our neighbors. Amen