The theme of “Power and Glory” permeates these readings, as is appropriate for this Sunday after the Ascension. In Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35 the Lord God is said to be able to bring rain in abundance, to cause the mountain at Sinai to tremble, to destroy the wicked, and yet to be the gentle protector of orphans and widows. In Acts 1:6-14 it is said that the eleven disciples will receive power when the Holy Spirit of God has come to them. According to the 1 Peter 4:12-14 and 5:6-11 selections the God of all grace, whose glory is revealed in the Christ and in the Spirit of God, has called those to whom 1 Peter is addressed into God’s eternal glory in Jesus Christ…
Perhaps the most usable theme that is present in all of these texts selected for us for the Sixth Sunday of Easter in Series A is expressed in Psalm 66:16: “Come and hear, and I will tell you what God has done for me!” There is personal testimony in each of these texts, and there should be personal testimony in the message that we proclaim on Easter 6.
The selection for this Fifth Sunday of Easter begins the transition from Easter to Ascension and Pentecost activities, or perhaps, in Fourth Gospel terminology, we should say to Jesus’ absence and anticipated return. With Gospel texts selected from the Gospel According to John and According to Luke, supported by texts from Acts of Apostles and 1 Peter, we have not had a Gospel selection from the Gospel According to Matthew in this Series A year of Matthew since Easter Day itself, and we will not have a Matthean Gospel account again until Trinity Sunday, still four weeks away.
The beautiful Easter theme of “The Lord is Our Shepherd,” alluded to in the John 10:1-10 analogies and expressed so well in Psalm 23 and 1 Peter 2:19-25, is not mentioned in Acts 2:42-47. All or a portion of Ezekiel 37:15-28 would fit the theme of “The Lord is Our Shepherd” exceedingly well. If a Newer Testament selection for the First Reading is desired on this Good Shepherd Sunday, far better than Acts 2:42-47 would be Hebrews 13:20-21
Within the three Newer Testament texts designated for the Third Sunday of Easter in Series A the message that God raised Jesus from the dead continues to be proclaimed in a variety of ways. In the Psalm 116 reading there is, of course, no proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus. There is, however, a strong affirmation of life as a gift from the Lord.