25 April 2021 is the Fourth Sunday of the season of Easter.
The main scripture comes from the New Testament book of Acts (of the Apostles). There is always a Lectionary reading from Acts throughout the Sundays of Easter in the Church of Scotland. Here’s the background to today’s Bible story…
Easter has seen the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Two of Jesus’ disciples, Peter and John, have healed a man who had been lame since birth and can now suddenly walk.
The Jewish authorities, afraid of the threat this amazing miracle may pose to their enduring power over the people, have Peter and John put in jail overnight. On the following day, the two disciples face questioning from the religious leaders, no doubt fearing that some form of force will be used against them. And this is the point where today’s reading begins.
In his speech to the rulers and elders of the people, aided by the Holy Spirit, Peter quotes famous words from the Old Testament book of Psalms (Psalm 118:22), referring to Jesus as follows:
“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”
Main scripture for this Sunday
Acts 4:5-12 (New International Version)
5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Video service from St James’ Church – 25 April 2021
Here is another wonderful song of testimony written by Keith and Kirstyn Getty.
The lyrics are very poetic, yet deeply thought-provoking.
Verse 1 relates to God’s grace in redeeming man from a raging sea and bringing him to a place of security. It is God alone that gives us strength to persevere through all the hard times.
In the chorus, we can sing about God’s strength – his never-ending love – and we can, in faith, proclaim that “The Lord is our Salvation”.