B119 – Easter 5 (Acts 8:26-40; John 15:1-8)
The universal embrace of the gospel is embodied in the Ethiopian Eunuch in the Acts 8 passage. The usual social barriers are no barriers to his baptism and the joy of faith. We talk about the communal context of interpretation of scripture, the importance of teaching, and the proclamatory, spoken nature of the good news. The John passage includes the final I am statement and centres on vine imagery, which emphasises the interconnectedness of the faithful with one another and with God, the vinegrower. The language of ‘abiding’ speaks of love, grounded in living God’s commandments. This love is further fleshed out in the 1 John 4 reading. We refer to Brittany Wilson’s article “Neither Male nor Female” New Testament Studies 60.3 (2014).