Thursday Readings: Preparation for the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A : Easter 5.1)

Hebrew Scripture: Genesis 12:1-3

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16

St. Stephen before the Sanhedrin , image by Lawrence, OP of a stained glass window from Exeter College chapel in Oxford,  via Flickr.  This image is licensed under  Creative Commons 2.0-by-nc-nd .

St. Stephen before the Sanhedrin, image by Lawrence, OP of a stained glass window from Exeter College chapel in Oxford, via Flickr. This image is licensed under Creative Commons 2.0-by-nc-nd.

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; 
do not let me ever be put to shame; 
in your righteousness deliver me.

Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily; 
be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.

You are indeed my rock and my fortress; 
for your name's sake lead me and guide me, 
take me out of the net that is hidden for me, 
for you are my refuge.

Into your hand I commit my spirit; 
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

My times are in your hand; 
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.

Let your face shine upon your servant.

New Testament Lesson: Acts 6:8-15


Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. They set up false witnesses who said, “This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.” And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

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