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Bible open to the first page of Acts

Sunday 5th May
Year B The Sixth Sunday of Easter: White


  • Psalm 98: 1-9
  • [Isaiah 55: 1-11]
  • Acts 10: 44-48
  • 1 John 5: 1-6
  • John 15: 9-17

(The reading from Acts should be used as either the first or second reading.)


Although I have been focussing on the gospel readings for the past few weeks, you will have noticed that the lectionary has been leaning towards the Book of Acts. The lesson from Acts has been used as the first or second reading since Easter Day and this will continue until Pentecost.

The Acts of the Apostles, is sometimes referred as the Acts of the Holy Spirit. This is perhaps a more apt title as the apostles themselves get very little mention. The most prominent figure is Paul, who is not an apostle by Luke’s definition (1.21-22). Acts is very widely thought to be the companion volume to Luke’s gospel and they together are often called Luke-Acts. Both are thought to have been written around 80-90C.E.

The book is an account of the life and work of the early church. However, it not simply a book of history, but also includes biography, homily and apologetics. As in all cases, the author’s particular perspective shapes the way they have recorded events.

Early church tradition attributes Luke-Acts to a physician and associate of Paul. However, no physician or disciple named Luke appears in either volume and the medical associations seem to have developed by convention. The two volumes do however indicate that ‘Luke’ is a gentile Christian who is well-educated and has studied both the emerging church and Jewish scriptures.

The book is very dramatic, with vivid characterisations and edge-of-seat incidents. It is a great read, and a great listen. I think it is particularly well-suited to the speaking style of David Suchet, although as ever, other videos are available.


In this week’s gospel reading Jesus continues to talk his disciples. And he continues to urge them to ‘abide’ in his love. Then later in the passage in verse 16 he says something quite extraordinary.

‘You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.’

Those of us that think (or have been told) we suffer from imposter syndrome might take heart from these words. However, if this does apply to you then you might also find this video and article from the Harvard Business Review a refreshing reframe of the concept!

To Ponder

I wonder what a theological narrative written about the life and work of the church today might have to say?

I wonder how many perspectives would get included?