Readings for Fourth Sunday of Easter
Acts 20:17-35; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30
Think for a moment about how much money people spend every year trying to keep themselves safe. Whether it’s home security, computer firewalls, or personal safety, we’ve probably all made investments into protecting ourselves or our loved ones from harm. Add in what governments spend on military defense, and we’re talking trillions of dollars! So it must be in sin-damaged world.
The readings for Sunday remind us that God-and He alone-can keep us eternally safe and secure. Jesus tells his Jewish opponents in our Gospel lesson: “No one can snatch [my sheep] out of my hand.” This doesn’t let us off the hook for making use of God’s Means of Grace. The daily choices we make do have a bearing on the health of our faith. But ultimately our salvation is in God’s hands, not ours. And that is very good news! Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to safeguard our faith from those three ancient enemies: the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh. In Christ, we are safe for eternity! (Jn 10)
The apostle John saw a vision of heaven, a place of perfect peace and security. Believers from every nation on earth are gathered there around God’s throne. They sing the praises of Jesus for delivering them from sin and death. (Rv 7)
In a farewell address before departing for Jerusalem, Paul instructs church leaders to carry out their calling to safeguard the spiritual lives of God’s people. They do this by remaining vigilant against false teachings that crop up in the Church and keeping the Church grounded in God’s Word. (Ac 20)