Memorial Garden

Peaceful garden | Eternal life

The St. Paul Memorial Garden is a lush outdoor space of rest, relaxation, and spiritual peace. It graces the northeast corner of the church campus, at Brady and Lombard Streets.

Life and memory unite here. The garden hosts plantings that change with the seasons – along with the buried ashes from members of the St. Paul community who have died. Rooted in this beautiful place is our centering confidence in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

Statement of faith

Burial in this garden is a biblically-faithful option for St. Paul members.

Scripture teaches us: Eternal life is a gift of God. Gods acts in Christ to overcome the power of sin and death. The sacred soil of this garden reminds us: We come from dust, and we return to God through the dust of the soil. Whether we live or whether we die, we belong to the Lord.

Community of saints

As Christians, we understand that human life and death are communal in nature. The garden is a living testimony to the continuity of the community of saints. Ashes are buried in a common plot – among the hostas and serviceberry trees.

Our living community surrounds the garden. We continue to worship and work, gather and play, through the daily life of the church. We pay grateful attention to the resting place of saints who have gone before us.

Returned to the soil

Human ashes are often called cremains. In the St. Paul Memorial Garden, cremains are deposited directly into the topsoil in a special committal service. The actual location of an individual burial site is not marked. That underscores our commonality as baptized people, united in Christ. Later, the name of the deceased will be engraved on the granite wall.

Burial in the garden is designed to authentically reflect the St. Paul community of faith. Members on the roster of St. Paul Lutheran Church, at the time of death, may be buried here, and have their names engraved on the memorial wall. Their spouses/partners and dependent children may also be buried in the garden.

Memorial Garden stroll

Take a moment to stroll the curving pathways of the Memorial Garden. People visit the garden daily, stopping for quiet reflection.

The memorial wall is the garden’s centerpiece. The seven granite tablets represent the seven days of creation – when God demonstrated what beauty, order, goodness, and rest truly look like. Names are inscribed on the wall.

The tablets overlook the intimate cross-shaped plaza where people gather for a burial service. Pergolas grace each entrance to the garden. Benches provide seating for meditation, reading, or conversation. Butterflies play among coneflowers and lilies.

Download: Memorial Garden brochure

Memorial Garden: Becky Harper

Isaiah 43:16-21

16Thus says the LORD,

Who makes a way through the sea

And a path through the mighty waters,

17Who brings forth the chariot and the horse,

The army and the mighty man

(They will lie down together and not rise again;

They have been quenched and extinguished like a wick):

18“Do not call to mind the former things,

Or ponder things of the past.

19“Behold, I will do something new,

Now it will spring forth;

Will you not be aware of it?

I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,

Rivers in the desert.

20“The beasts of the field will glorify Me,

The jackals and the ostriches,

Because I have given waters in the wilderness

And rivers in the desert,

To give drink to My chosen people.

21“The people whom I formed for Myself

Will declare My praise.

The Shortcomings of Israel

Psalm 126

1When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion,

We were like those who dream.

2Then our mouth was filled with laughter

And our tongue with joyful shouting;

Then they said among the nations,

“The LORD has done great things for them.”

3The LORD has done great things for us;

We are glad.

4Restore our captivity, O LORD,

As the streams in the South.

5Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.

6He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,

Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Philippians 3:4-14

4although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:5circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.

7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,9and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;11in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.13Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

John 12:1-8

Mary Anoints Jesus

1Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.2So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at thetable with Him.3Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.4But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, *said,5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?6Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.7Therefore Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial.8“For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”

Isaiah 50:4-9

4The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples,

That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.

He awakens Me morning by morning,

He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.

5The Lord GOD has opened My ear;

And I was not disobedient

Nor did I turn back.

6I gave My back to those who strike Me,

And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard;

I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.

7For the Lord GOD helps Me,

Therefore, I am not disgraced;

Therefore, I have set My face like flint,

And I know that I will not be ashamed.

8He who vindicates Me is near;

Who will contend with Me?

Let us stand up to each other;

Who has a case against Me?

Let him draw near to Me.

9Behold, the Lord GOD helps Me;

Who is he who condemns Me?

Behold, they will all wear out like a garment;

The moth will eat them.

Psalm 31:9-16

9Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;

My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.

10For my life is spent with sorrow

And my years with sighing;

My strength has failed because of my iniquity,

And my body has wasted away.

11Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,

Especially to my neighbors,

And an object of dread to my acquaintances;

Those who see me in the street flee from me.

12I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;

I am like a broken vessel.

13For I have heard the slander of many,

Terror is on every side;

While they took counsel together against me,

They schemed to take away my life.

14But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD,

I say, “You are my God.”

15My times are in Your hand;

Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.

16Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;

Save me in Your lovingkindness.

Philippians 2:5-11

5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Luke 23:1-49

Jesus before Pilate

1Then the whole body of them got up and brought Him before Pilate.2And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”3So Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him and said, It is as you say.”4Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.”5But they kept on insisting, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as this place.”

6When Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean.7And when he learned that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time.

Jesus before Herod

8Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him.9And he questioned Him at some length; but He answered him nothing.10And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently.11And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.12Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been enemies with each other.

Pilate Seeks Jesus’ Release

13Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people,14and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him.15“No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him.16“Therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”17[Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]

18But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!”19(He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.)20Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again,21but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!”22And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”23But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail.24And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted.25And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their will.

Simon Bears the Cross

26When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

27And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him.28But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.29“For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’30“Then they will begin TOSAY TO THE MOUNTAINS, ‘FALL ON US,’ AND TO THE HILLS, ‘COVER US.’31“For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.

The Crucifixion

33When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.34But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.35And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”36The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine,37and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”38Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

39One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”40But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?41“And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”42And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”43And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour,45because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two.46And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last.47Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.”48And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts.49And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.

Jesus Is Buried

Exodus 12:1-14

The Passover Lamb

1Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,2“This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.3“Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.4‘Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb.5‘Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.6‘You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.7‘Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.8‘They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.9‘Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails.10‘And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire.11‘Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the LORDS Passover.12‘For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the LORD.13‘The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Feast of Unleavened Bread

14‘Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.

Psalm 116:1-19

1I love the LORD, because He hears

My voice and my supplications.

2Because He has inclined His ear to me,

Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.

3The cords of death encompassed me

And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;

I found distress and sorrow.

4Then I called upon the name of the LORD:

“O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!”

5Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;

Yes, our God is compassionate.

6The LORD preserves the simple;

I was brought low, and He saved me.

7Return to your rest, O my soul,

For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

8For You have rescued my soul from death,

My eyes from tears,

My feet from stumbling.

9I shall walk before the LORD

In the land of the living.

10I believed when I said,

“I am greatly afflicted.”

11I said in my alarm,

“All men are liars.”

12What shall I render to the LORD

For all His benefits toward me?

13I shall lift up the cup of salvation

And call upon the name of the LORD.

14I shall pay my vows to the LORD,

Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.

15Precious in the sight of the LORD

Is the death of His godly ones.

16O LORD, surely I am Your servant,

I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid,

You have loosed my bonds.

17To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,

And call upon the name of the LORD.

18I shall pay my vows to the LORD,

Oh may it be in the presence of all His people,

19In the courts of the LORDS house,

In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

Praise the LORD!

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

23For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;24and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”25In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

John 13:1-35

The Lord’s Supper

1Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.2During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him,3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God,4*got up from supper, and *laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

5Then He *poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.6So He *came to Simon Peter. He *said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?”7Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.”8Peter *said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”9Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”10Jesus *said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.11For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?13“You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.14“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.15“For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.16“Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.17“If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.18“I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’19“From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He.20“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”

Jesus Predicts His Betrayal

21When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.”22The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking.23There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.24So Simon Peter *gestured to him, and *said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.”25He, leaning back thus on Jesus’ bosom, *said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”26Jesus then *answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He *took and *gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.27After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus *said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”28Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him.29For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast”; or else, that he should give something to the poor.30So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night.

31Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus *said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him;32if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.33“Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’34“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.35“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

13Behold, My servant will prosper,

He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.

14Just as many were astonished at you, My people,

So His appearance was marred more than any man

And His form more than the sons of men.

15Thus He will sprinkle many nations,

Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;

For what had not been told them they will see,

And what they had not heard they will understand.

1Who has believed our message?

And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,

And like a root out of parched ground;

He has no stately form or majesty

That we should look upon Him,

Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

3He was despised and forsaken of men,

A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

And like one from whom men hide their face

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4Surely our griefs He Himself bore,

And our sorrows He carried;

Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten of God, and afflicted.

5But He was pierced through for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities;

The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,

And by His scourging we are healed.

6All of us like sheep have gone astray,

Each of us has turned to his own way;

But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all

To fall on Him.

7He was oppressed and He was afflicted,

Yet He did not open His mouth;

Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,

And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,

So He did not open His mouth.

8By oppression and judgment He was taken away;

And as for His generation, who considered

That He was cut off out of the land of the living

For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?

9His grave was assigned with wicked men,

Yet He was with a rich man in His death,

Because He had done no violence,

Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10But the LORD was pleased

To crush Him, putting Him to grief;

If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,

He will see His offspring,

He will prolong His days,

And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

11As a result of the anguish of His soul,

He will see it and be satisfied;

By His knowledge the Righteous One,

My Servant, will justify the many,

As He will bear their iniquities.

12Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,

And He will divide the booty with the strong;

Because He poured out Himself to death,

And was numbered with the transgressors;

Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,

And interceded for the transgressors.

Psalm 22

1My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?

Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.

2O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;

And by night, but I have no rest.

3Yet You are holy,

O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.

4In You our fathers trusted;

They trusted and You delivered them.

5To You they cried out and were delivered;

In You they trusted and were not disappointed.

6But I am a worm and not a man,

A reproach of men and despised by the people.

7All who see me sneer at me;

They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,

8“Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him;

Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”

9Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;

You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.

10Upon You I was cast from birth;

You have been my God from my mother’s womb.

11Be not far from me, for trouble is near;

For there is none to help.

12Many bulls have surrounded me;

Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.

13They open wide their mouth at me,

As a ravening and a roaring lion.

14I am poured out like water,

And all my bones are out of joint;

My heart is like wax;

It is melted within me.

15My strength is dried up like a potsherd,

And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;

And You lay me in the dust of death.

16For dogs have surrounded me;

A band of evildoers has encompassed me;

They pierced my hands and my feet.

17I can count all my bones.

They look, they stare at me;

18They divide my garments among them,

And for my clothing they cast lots.

19But You, O LORD, be not far off;

O You my help, hasten to my assistance.

20Deliver my soul from the sword,

My only life from the power of the dog.

21Save me from the lion’s mouth;

From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.

22I will tell of Your name to my brethren;

In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.

23You who fear the LORD, praise Him;

All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,

And stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel.

24For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;

Nor has He hidden His face from him;

But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.

25From You comes my praise in the great assembly;

I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.

26The afflicted will eat and be satisfied;

Those who seek Him will praise the LORD.

Let your heart live forever!

27All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD,

And all the families of the nations will worship before You.

28For the kingdom is the LORDS

And He rules over the nations.

29All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship,

All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him,

Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.

30Posterity will serve Him;

It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation.

31They will come and will declare His righteousness

To a people who will be born, that He has performed it.

Hebrews 10:16-25

16“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM

AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:

I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,

AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”

He then says,

17“AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS

I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”

18Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

A New and Living Way

19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,20by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,21and since we have a great priest over the house of God,22let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Christ or Judgment

John 18:1-19:42

Judas Betrays Jesus

1When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples.2Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples.3Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, *came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.4So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and *said to them, “Whom do you seek?”5They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He. And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them.6So when He said to them, “I am He, they drew back and fell to the ground.7Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”8Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,”9to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.”10Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus.11So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”

Jesus before the Priests

12So the Roman cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him,13and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.14Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.

15Simon Peter was following Jesus, and sowas another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest,16but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in.17Then the slave-girl who kept the door *said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He *said, “I am not.”18Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself.

19The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching.20Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret.21“Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.”22When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?”23Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?”24So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter’s Denial of Jesus

25Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it, and said, “I am not.”26One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, *said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?”27Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.

Jesus before Pilate

28Then they *led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.29Therefore Pilate went out to them and *said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”30They answered and said to him, “If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you.”31So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death,”32to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.

33Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”34Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”35Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?”36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”37Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”38Pilate *said to Him, “What is truth?”

And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and *said to them, “I find no guilt in Him.39“But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?”40So they cried out again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber.

The Crown of Thorns

1Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him.2And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him;3and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face.4Pilate came out again and *said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.”5Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate *said to them, “Behold, the Man!”6So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate *said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.”7The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out tobe the Son of God.”

8Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid;9and he entered into the Praetorium again and *said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.10So Pilate *said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?”11Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”12As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”

13Therefore when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.14Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he *said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”15So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate *said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

The Crucifixion

16So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified.

17They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.18There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.19Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”20Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek.21So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’”22Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

23Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece.24So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture: “THEYDIVIDED MY OUTER GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND FOR MY CLOTHING THEY CASTLOTS.”25Therefore the soldiers did these things.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.26When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”27Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

28After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.”29A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branchof hyssop and brought it up to His mouth.30Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Care of the Body of Jesus

31Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.32So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him;33but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.34But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.35And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.36For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BEBROKEN.”37And again another Scripture says, “THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED.”

38After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body.39Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.40So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.41Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.42Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Acts 10:34-43

34Opening his mouth, Peter said:

“I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,35but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.36“The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)—37you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed.38You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.39“We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.40“God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible,41not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.42“And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.43“Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

Psalm 118:1-24

1Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

2Oh let Israel say,

“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

3Oh let the house of Aaron say,

“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

4Oh let those who fear the LORD say,

“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

5From my distress I called upon the LORD;

The LORD answered me andset me in a large place.

6The LORD is for me; I will not fear;

What can man do to me?

7The LORD is for me among those who help me;

Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.

8It is better to take refuge in the LORD

Than to trust in man.

9It is better to take refuge in the LORD

Than to trust in princes.

10All nations surrounded me;

In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

11They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me;

In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

12They surrounded me like bees;

They were extinguished as a fire of thorns;

In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

13You pushed me violently so that I was falling,

But the LORD helped me.

14The LORD is my strength and song,

And He has become my salvation.

15The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;

The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

16The right hand of the LORD is exalted;

The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

17I will not die, but live,

And tell of the works of the LORD.

18The LORD has disciplined me severely,

But He has not given me over to death.

19Open to me the gates of righteousness;

I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the LORD.

20This is the gate of the LORD;

The righteous will enter through it.

21I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me,

And You have become my salvation.

22The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief corner stone.

23This is the LORDS doing;

It is marvelous in our eyes.

24This is the day which the LORD has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Romans 6:3-11

3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;7for he who has died is freed from sin.

8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

John 20:1-18

The Empty Tomb

1Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.2So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”3So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb.4The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first;5and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.6And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there,7and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.8So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.9For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.10So the disciples went away again to their own homes.

11But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb;12and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.13And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”14When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.15Jesus *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she *said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”16Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).17Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’”18Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

Jesus among His Disciples

Acts 5:27-32

27When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them,28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.30“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.31“He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.32“And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

Gamaliel’s Counsel

Psalm 118:14-29

14The LORD is my strength and song,

And He has become my salvation.

15The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;

The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

16The right hand of the LORD is exalted;

The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

17I will not die, but live,

And tell of the works of the LORD.

18The LORD has disciplined me severely,

But He has not given me over to death.

19Open to me the gates of righteousness;

I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the LORD.

20This is the gate of the LORD;

The righteous will enter through it.

21I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me,

And You have become my salvation.

22The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief corner stone.

23This is the LORDS doing;

It is marvelous in our eyes.

24This is the day which the LORD has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25O LORD, do save, we beseech You;

O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!

26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD;

We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

27The LORD is God, and He has given us light;

Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.

28You are my God, and I give thanks to You;

You are my God, I extol You.

29Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Revelation 1:4-8

4John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—6and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.7BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

The Patmos Vision

John 20:19-31

19So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be with you.”20And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.21So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”22And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23“If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

24But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.25So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

26After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”27Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”28Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”29Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

Why This Gospel Was Written

30Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;31but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

Acts 9:1-6

The Conversion of Saul

1Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,2and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.3As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;4and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”5And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said,“I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,6but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.”

Psalm 30

1I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up,

And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.

2O LORD my God,

I cried to You for help, and You healed me.

3O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol;

You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.

4Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones,

And give thanks to His holy name.

5For His anger is but for a moment,

His favor is for a lifetime;

Weeping may last for the night,

But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

6Now as for me, I said in my prosperity,

“I will never be moved.”

7O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong;

You hid Your face, I was dismayed.

8To You, O LORD, I called,

And to the Lord I made supplication:

9“What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit?

Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?

10“Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me;

O LORD, be my helper.”

11You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;

You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,

12That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.

O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Revelation 5:11-14

11Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,

12saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

13And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,

“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

14And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

John 21:1-19

Jesus Appears at the Sea of Galilee

1After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way.2Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.3Simon Peter *said to them, “I am going fishing.” They *said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.

4But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.5So Jesus *said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.”6And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch. So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.7Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved *said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea.8But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.

9So when they got out on the land, they *saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread.10Jesus *said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.”11Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.

Jesus Provides

12Jesus *said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples ventured to question Him, “Who are You?” knowing that it was the Lord.13Jesus *came and *took the bread and *gave it to them, and the fish likewise.14This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.

The Love Motivation

15So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.”16He *said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”17He *said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus *said to him, “Tend My sheep.

Our Times Are in His Hand

18“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.19Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He *said to him, “Follow Me!”

Acts 9:36-43

36Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.37And it happened at that time that she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her body, they laid it in an upper room.38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, having heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him, imploring him, “Do not delay in coming to us.”39So Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them.40But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.41And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.42It became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.43And Peter stayed many days in Joppa with a tanner named Simon.

Psalm 23

1The LORD is my shepherd,

I shall not want.

2He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

3He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

6Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Revelation 7:9-17

9After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;10and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,12saying,

“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

13Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?”14I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.15“For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.16“They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat;17for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

John 10:22-30

22At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem;23it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.24The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.26“But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.27“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.29“My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.30“I and the Father are one.”

Acts 11:1-18

Peter Reports at Jerusalem

1Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.2And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him,3saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.”4But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly sequence, saying,5“I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object coming down like a great sheet lowered by four corners from the sky; and it came right down to me,6and when I had fixed my gaze on it and was observing it I saw the four-footed animals of the earth and the wild beasts and the crawling creatures and the birds of the air.7“I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’8“But I said, ‘By no means, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’9“But a voice from heaven answered a second time, ‘What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.’10“This happened three times, and everything was drawn back up into the sky.11“And behold, at that moment three men appeared at the house in which we were staying, having been sent to me from Caesarea.12“The Spirit told me to go with them without misgivings. These six brethren also went with me and we entered the man’s house.13“And he reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and have Simon, who is also called Peter, brought here;14and he will speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’15“And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.16“And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’17“Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”18When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

The Church at Antioch

Psalm 148

1Praise the LORD!

Praise the LORD from the heavens;

Praise Him in the heights!

2Praise Him, all His angels;

Praise Him, all His hosts!

3Praise Him, sun and moon;

Praise Him, all stars of light!

4Praise Him, highest heavens,

And the waters that are above the heavens!

5Let them praise the name of the LORD,

For He commanded and they were created.

6He has also established them forever and ever;

He has made a decree which will not pass away.

7Praise the LORD from the earth,

Sea monsters and all deeps;

8Fire and hail, snow and clouds;

Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;

9Mountains and all hills;

Fruit trees and all cedars;

10Beasts and all cattle;

Creeping things and winged fowl;

11Kings of the earth and all peoples;

Princes and all judges of the earth;

12Both young men and virgins;

Old men and children.

13Let them praise the name of the LORD,

For His name alone is exalted;

His glory is above earth and heaven.

14And He has lifted up a horn for His people,

Praise for all His godly ones;

Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him.

Praise the LORD!

Revelation 21:1-6

The New Heaven and Earth

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.3And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,4and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

5And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”6Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.

John 13:31-35

31Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus *said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him;32if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.33“Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’34“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.35“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Acts 16:9-15

9A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”10When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

11So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis;12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days.13And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled.

First Convert in Europe

14A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.15And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

Psalm 67

1God be gracious to us and bless us,

And cause His face to shine upon us—

Selah.

2That Your way may be known on the earth,

Your salvation among all nations.

3Let the peoples praise You, O God;

Let all the peoples praise You.

4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy;

For You will judge the peoples with uprightness

And guide the nations on the earth.

Selah.

5Let the peoples praise You, O God;

Let all the peoples praise You.

6The earth has yielded its produce;

God, our God, blesses us.

7God blesses us,

That all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

Revelation 21:10-22:5

The New Jerusalem

10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,11having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.12It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.13There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west.14And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall.16The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal.17And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements.18The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.19The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;20the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.23And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.25In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed;26and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it;27and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The River and the Tree of Life

1Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,2in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.3There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him;4they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.5And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

John 14:23-29

23Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.24“He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

25“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.26“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.27“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.28“You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.29“Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.

Acts 16:16-34

16It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling.17Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.”18She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.

19But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities,20and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews,21and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”

Paul and Silas Imprisoned

22The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods.23When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely;24and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;26and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.27When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.28But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!”29And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas,30and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

The Jailer Converted

31They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”32And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.33And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.34And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.

Psalm 97

1The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;

Let the many islands be glad.

2Clouds and thick darkness surround Him;

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

3Fire goes before Him

And burns up His adversaries round about.

4His lightnings lit up the world;

The earth saw and trembled.

5The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the LORD,

At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

6The heavens declare His righteousness,

And all the peoples have seen His glory.

7Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images,

Who boast themselves of idols;

Worship Him, all you gods.

8Zion heard this and was glad,

And the daughters of Judah have rejoiced

Because of Your judgments, O LORD.

9For You are the LORD Most High over all the earth;

You are exalted far above all gods.

10Hate evil, you who love the LORD,

Who preserves the souls of His godly ones;

He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

11Light is sown like seed for the righteous

And gladness for the upright in heart.

12Be glad in the LORD, you righteous ones,

And give thanks to His holy name.

Revelation 22:12-21

12“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.13“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.15Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

16“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

18I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

20He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

John 17:20-26

20“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;21that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

Their Future Glory

22“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;23I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.24“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

25“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me;26and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”