Sunday readings May/June 2016

Sunday 1 May
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 15.1-2, 22-29
Psalm 66
Revelation 21.10-14, 22-23
John 14.23 -29

When we read the Old Testament, we always read of the ‘twelve tribes’ of Israel, and when we read the New Testament we read of the ‘twelve Apostles’, but it is always worth noting that often the lists of the two sets of twelve are different – always twelve but often with some of the names being varied. We should not be too worried by that, for the idea of the ‘Twelve’ is simply a word to convey the whole. We have both sets in the beautiful reading from Revelation today. The New Jerusalem comes down from God with all the radiant glory of God. It is an ideal, a vision of final fulfilment, and so it has both the fullness of the Old Testament and its promises and hopes, as well as that of the New; for the names of both the tribes and the apostles are inscribed on the gates and the foundation stones. So the New Jerusalem is not a break with the past, but a fulfilment of the past, and that is important, because it can help prevent the Church and its believers become escapist – it insists on a radical continuity.

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