Thursday, May 20, 2021
Reading (Acts 22:30; 23:6-11)
 However, the next day, since he wanted to know the specific charge the Judeans were bringing against him, he released him and ordered the head cohanim and the whole Sanhedrin to meet. Then he brought Sha’ul down and put him in front of them.
 But knowing that one part of the Sanhedrin consisted of Tz’dukim and the other of P’rushim, Sha’ul shouted, “Brothers, I myself am a Parush and the son of P’rushim; and it is concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead that I am being tried!”
 When he said this, an argument arose between the P’rushim and the Tz’dukim, and the crowd was divided.  For the Tz’dukim deny the resurrection and the existence of angels and spirits; whereas the P’rushim acknowledge both.
 So there was a great uproar, with some of the Torah-teachers who were on the side of the P’rushim standing up and joining in — “We don’t find anything wrong with this man; and if a spirit or an angel spoke to him, what of it?”
 The dispute became so violent that the commander, fearing that Sha’ul would be torn apart by them, ordered the soldiers to go down, take him by force and bring him back into the barracks.
 The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage! For just as you have borne a faithful witness to me in Yerushalayim, so now you must bear witness in Rome.”
Gospel (John 17:20-26)
 “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will trust in me because of their word,  that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are united with me and I with you, I pray that they may be united with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.
 The glory which you have given to me, I have given to them; so that they may be one, just as we are one —  I united with them and you with me, so that they may be completely one, and the world thus realize that you sent me, and that you have loved them just as you have loved me.
 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am; so that they may see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
 Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these people have known that you sent me.  I made your name known to them, and I will continue to make it known; so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I myself may be united with them.”
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Reading (Acts 20:28-38)
 “Watch out for yourselves, and for all the flock in which the Ruach HaKodesh has placed you as leaders, to shepherd God’s Messianic community, which he won for himself at the cost of his own Son’s blood.  I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you; and they won’t spare the flock.
 Even from among your own number, men will arise and teach perversions of the truth, in order to drag away the talmidim after themselves.  So stay alert! Remember that for three years, night and day, with tears in my eyes, I never stopped warning you!
 “And now I entrust you to the care of the Lord and to the message of his love and kindness, for it can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who have been set apart for God.  “I have not wanted for myself anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have provided not only for my own needs, but for the needs of my co-workers as well.  In everything I have given you an example of how, by working hard like this, you must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Yeshua himself, ‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.’”
 When he had finished speaking, Sha’ul kneeled down with them all and prayed.  They were all in tears as they threw their arms around his neck and kissed him farewell.  What saddened them the most was his remark that they would never see him again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.
Gospel (John 17:11b-19)
 Now I am no longer in the world. They are in the world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, guard them by the power of your name, which you have given to me, so that they may be one, just as we are.
 When I was with them, I guarded them by the power of your name, which you have given to me; yes, I kept watch over them; and not one of them was destroyed (except the one meant for destruction, so that the Tanakh might be fulfilled).
 But now, I am coming to you; and I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.  “I have given them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world — just as I myself do not belong to the world.
 I don’t ask you to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the Evil One.  They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  Set them apart for holiness by means of the truth — your word is truth.
 Just as you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.  On their behalf I am setting myself apart for holiness, so that they too may be set apart for holiness by means of the truth.
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Reading (Acts 20:17-27)
 But he did send from Miletus to Ephesus, summoning the elders of the Messianic community.  When they arrived, he said to them, “You yourselves know how, from the first day I set foot in the province of Asia, I was with you the whole time,
 serving the Lord with much humility and with tears, in spite of the tests I had to undergo because of the plots of the unbelieving Jews.  You know that I held back nothing that could be helpful to you, and that I taught you both in public and from house to house,  declaring with utmost seriousness the same message to Jews and Greeks alike: turn from sin to God; and put your trust in our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.
 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Yerushalayim. I don’t know what will happen to me there,  other than that in every city the Ruach HaKodesh keeps warning me that imprisonment and persecution await me.
 But I consider my own life of no importance to me whatsoever, as long as I can finish the course ahead of me, the task I received from the Lord Yeshua — to declare in depth the Good News of God’s love and kindness.
 “Now, listen! I know that none of you people among whom I have gone about proclaiming the Kingdom will ever see me again.  Therefore, I testify on this day that I am innocent of the blood of all. 27 For I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the whole plan of God.
Gospel (John 17:1-11a)
 After Yeshua had said these things, he looked up toward heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that the Son may glorify you —  just as you gave him authority over all mankind, so that he might give eternal life to all those whom you have given him.
 And eternal life is this: to know you, the one true God, and him whom you sent, Yeshua the Messiah.  “I glorified you on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.  Now, Father, glorify me alongside yourself. Give me the same glory I had with you before the world existed.
 “I made your name known to the people you gave me out of the world. They were yours, you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.  Now they know that everything you have given me is from you,  because the words you gave me I have given to them, and they have received them.
They have really come to know that I came from you, and they have come to trust that you sent me.  “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given to me, because they are yours.  Indeed, all I have is yours, and all you have is mine, and in them I have been glorified.  Now I am no longer in the world. They are in the world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, guard them by the power of your name, which you have given to me, so that they may be one, just as we are.
Monday, May 17, 2021
Reading (Acts 19:1-8)
 While Apollos was in Corinth, Sha’ul completed his travels through the inland country and arrived at Ephesus, where he found a few talmidim.
 He asked them, “Did you receive the Ruach HaKodesh when you came to trust?” “No,” they said to him, “we have never even heard that there is such a thing as the Ruach HaKodesh.”  “In that case,” he said, “into what were you immersed?” “The immersion of Yochanan,” they answered.
 Sha’ul said, “Yochanan practiced an immersion in connection with turning from sin to God; but he told the people to put their trust in the one who would come after him, that is, in Yeshua.”
 On hearing this, they were immersed into the name of the Lord Yeshua;  and when Sha’ul placed his hands on them, the Ruach HaKodesh came upon them; so that they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.
 In all, there were about twelve of these men.  Sha’ul went into the synagogue; and for three months he spoke out boldly, engaging in dialogue and trying to persuade people about the Kingdom of God.
Gospel (John 16:29-33)
 The talmidim said to him, “Look, you’re talking plainly right now, you’re not speaking indirectly at all.  Now we know that you know everything, and that you don’t need to have people put their questions into words. This makes us believe that you came from God.”
 Yeshua answered, “Now you do believe.  But a time is coming — indeed it has come already — when you will be scattered, each one looking out for himself; and you will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone; because the Father is with me.
 “I have said these things to you so that, united with me, you may have shalom. In the world, you have tsuris. But be brave! I have conquered the world!”
Sunday, May 16, 2021
First Reading (Acts 1:1-11)
 Dear Theophilos: In the first book, I wrote about everything Yeshua set out to do and teach,  until the day when, after giving instructions through the Ruach HaKodesh to the emissaries whom he had chosen, he was taken up into heaven.
 After his death he showed himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. During a period of forty days they saw him, and he spoke with them about the Kingdom of God.
 At one of these gatherings, he instructed them not to leave Yerushalayim but to wait for “what the Father promised, which you heard about from me.  For Yochanan used to immerse people in water; but in a few days, you will be immersed in the Ruach HaKodesh!”
 When they were together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore self-rule to Isra’el?”  He answered, “You don’t need to know the dates or the times; the Father has kept these under his own authority.
 But you will receive power when the Ruach HaKodesh comes upon you; you will be my witnesses both in Yerushalayim and in all Y’hudah and Shomron, indeed to the ends of the earth!”  After saying this, he was taken up before their eyes; and a cloud hid him from their sight.
 As they were staring into the sky after him, suddenly they saw two men dressed in white standing next to them.  The men said, “You Galileans! Why are you standing, staring into space? This Yeshua, who has been taken away from you into heaven, will come back to you in just the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Second Reading (Ephesians 1:17-23)
 the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the glorious Father, to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you will have full knowledge of him.
 I pray that he will give light to the eyes of your hearts, so that you will understand the hope to which he has called you, what rich glories there are in the inheritance he has promised his people,  and how surpassingly great is his power working in us who trust him.
It works with the same mighty strength he used  when he worked in the Messiah to raise him from the dead and seat him at his right hand in heaven,  far above every ruler, authority, power, dominion or any other name that can be named either in the ‘olam hazeh or in the ‘olam haba.
 Also, he has put all things under his feet and made him head over everything for the Messianic Community,  which is his body, the full expression of him who fills all creation.
Gospel (Mark 16:15-20)
 Then he said to them, “As you go throughout the world, proclaim the Good News to all creation.  Whoever trusts and is immersed will be saved; whoever does not trust will be condemned.
 And these signs will accompany those who do trust: in my name they will drive out demons, speak with new tongues,  not be injured if they handle snakes or drink poison, and heal the sick by laying hands on them.”
 So then, after he had spoken to them, the Lord Yeshua was taken up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God  And they went out and proclaimed everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the message by the accompanying signs.
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Reading (Acts 18:23-28)
 Spent some time there, and afterwards set out and passed systematically through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the talmidim.  Meanwhile, a Jewish man named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus.
He was an eloquent speaker with a thorough knowledge of the Tanakh.  This man had been informed about the Way of the Lord, and with great spiritual fervor he spoke and taught accurately the facts about Yeshua, but he knew only the immersion of Yochanan.
 He began to speak out boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the Way of God in fuller detail.  When he made plans to cross over into Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote the talmidim there to welcome him.
On arrival, he greatly helped those who through grace had come to trust;  for he powerfully and conclusively refuted the unbelieving Jews in public, demonstrating by the Tanakh that Yeshua is the Messiah.
Gospel (John 16:23b-28)
 “When that day comes, you won’t ask anything of me! Yes, indeed! I tell you that whatever you ask from the Father, he will give you in my name.  Till now you haven’t asked for anything in my name. Keep asking, and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
 “I have said these things to you with the help of illustrations; however, a time is coming when I will no longer speak indirectly but will talk about the Father in plain language.  When that day comes, you will ask in my name.
I am not telling you that I will pray to the Father on your behalf,  for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.  “I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.”
Friday, May 14, 2021
Reading (Acts 1:15-17, 20-26)
 During this period, when the group of believers numbered about 120, Kefa stood up and addressed his fellow-believers:  “Brothers, the Ruach HaKodesh spoke in advance through David about Y’hudah, and these words of the Tanakh had to be fulfilled.
He was guide for those who arrested Yeshua —  he was one of us and had been assigned a part in our work.”  “Now,” said Kefa, “it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his estate become desolate, let there be no one to live in it’;and ‘Let someone else take his place as a supervisor.’
 Therefore, one of the men who have been with us continuously throughout the time the Lord Yeshua traveled around among us,  from the time Yochanan was immersing people until the day Yeshua was taken up from us — one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.”
 They nominated two men — Yosef Bar-Sabba, surnamed Justus, and Mattityahu.  Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen  to take over the work and the office of emissary that Y’hudah abandoned to go where he belongs.”
 Then they drew lots to decide between the two, and the lot fell to Mattityahu. So he was added to the eleven emissaries.
Gospel (John 15:9-17)
 “Just as my Father has loved me, I too have loved you; so stay in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will stay in my love — just as I have kept my Father’s commands and stay in his love.
 I have said this to you so that my joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.  “This is my command: that you keep on loving each other just as I have loved you.  No one has greater love than a person who lays down his life for his friends.
 You are my friends, if you do what I command you.  I no longer call you slaves, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is about; but I have called you friends, because everything I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
 You did not choose me, I chose you; and I have commissioned you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that whatever you ask from the Father in my name he may give you.  This is what I command you: keep loving each other!
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Reading (Acts 18:1-8)
 After this, Sha’ul left Athens and went to Corinth,  where he met a Jewish man named Aquila, originally from Pontus but having recently come with his wife Priscilla from Italy, because Claudius had issued a decree expelling all the Jews from Rome.
Sha’ul went to see them;  and because he had the same trade as they, making tents, he stayed on with them; and they worked together.  Sha’ul also began carrying on discussions every Shabbat in the synagogue, where he tried to convince both Jews and Greeks.
 But after Sila and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Sha’ul felt pressed by the urgency of the message and testified in depth to the Jews that Yeshua is the Messiah.  However when they set themselves against him and began hurling insults, he shook out his clothes and said to them,
“Your blood be on your own heads! For my part, I am clean; from now on, I will go to the Goyim!”  So he left them and went into the home of a “God-fearer” named Titius Justus, whose house was right next door to the synagogue.
 Crispus, the president of the synagogue, came to trust in the Lord, along with his whole household; also many of the Corinthians who heard trusted and were immersed.
Gospel (John 16:16-20)
 “In a little while, you will see me no more; then, a little while later, you will see me.”  At this, some of the talmidim said to one another, “What is this that he’s telling us, ‘In a little while, you won’t see me; then, a little while later, you will see me’? and, ‘I am going to the Father’?”
 They went on saying, “What is this ‘little while’? We don’t understand what he’s talking about.”  Yeshua knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you asking each other what I meant by saying, ‘In a little while, you won’t see me; and then, a little while later, you will see me’?
 Yes, it’s true. I tell you that you will sob and mourn, and the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Reading (Acts 17:15, 22-34; 18:1)
 Sha’ul’s escort went with him as far as Athens, then left with instructions for Sila and Timothy to come as quickly as they could.  Sha’ul stood up in the Council meeting and said, “Men of Athens: I see how very religious you are in every way!
 For as I was walking around, looking at your shrines, I even found an altar which had been inscribed, ‘To An Unknown God.’ So, the one whom you are already worshipping in ignorance — this is the one I proclaim to you.
 “The God who made the universe and everything in it, and who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in man-made temples;  nor is he served by human hands, as if he lacked something; since it is he himself who gives life and breath and everything to everyone.
 “From one man he made every nation living on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the limits of their territories and the periods when they would flourish.
 God did this so that people would look for him and perhaps reach out and find him although in fact, he is not far from each one of us,  ‘for in him we live and move and exist.’ Indeed, as some of the poets among you have said, ‘We are actually his children.’
 So, since we are children of God, we shouldn’t suppose that God’s essence resembles gold, silver or stone shaped by human technique and imagination.  “In the past, God overlooked such ignorance; but now he is commanding all people everywhere to turn to him from their sins.
 For he has set a Day when he will judge the inhabited world, and do it justly, by means of a man whom he has designated. And he has given public proof of it by resurrecting this man from the dead.”  At the mention of a resurrection of dead people, some began to scoff; while others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.”
 So Sha’ul left the meeting.  But some men stayed with him and came to trust, including the High Council member Dionysius; there was also a woman named Damaris; and others came to trust along with them. [18:1] After this, Sha’ul left Athens and went to Corinth,
Gospel (John 16:12-15)
 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now.  However, when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own initiative but will say only what he hears.
He will also announce to you the events of the future.  He will glorify me, because he will receive from what is mine and announce it to you.  Everything the Father has is mine; this is why I said that he receives from what is mine and will announce it to you.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Reading (Acts 16:22-34)
 The mob joined in the attack against them, and the judges tore their clothes off them and ordered that they be flogged.  After giving them a severe beating, they threw them in prison, charging the jailer to guard them securely.
 Upon receiving such an order, he threw them into the inner cell and clamped their feet securely between heavy blocks of wood.  Around midnight, Sha’ul and Sila were praying and singing hymns to God, while the other prisoners listened attentively.
 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake which shook the prison to its foundations. All the doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose.  The jailer awoke, and when he saw the doors open he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, for he assumed that the prisoners had escaped.
 But Sha’ul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We’re all here!”  Calling for lights, the jailer ran in, began to tremble and fell down in front of Sha’ul and Sila.  Then, leading them outside, he said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?”
 They said, “Trust in the Lord Yeshua, and you will be saved — you and your household!”  Whereupon they told him and everyone in his household the message about the Lord.
 Then, even at that late hour of the night, the jailer took them and washed off their wounds; and without delay, he and all his people were immersed.
 After that, he brought them up to his house and set food in front of them; and he and his entire household celebrated their having come to trust in God.
Gospel (John 16:5-11)
 But now I am going to the One who sent me. “Not one of you is asking me, ‘Where are you going?’  Instead, because I have said these things to you, you are overcome with grief.
 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I don’t go away, the comforting Counselor will not come to you. However, if I do go, I will send him to you.
 “When he comes, he will show that the world is wrong about sin, about righteousness and about judgment —  about sin, in that people don’t put their trust in me;  about righteousness, in that I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me;  about judgment, in that the ruler of this world has been judged.