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Posts Tagged ‘apostles’


Monday, September 14, 2020

mind[1]Amos 3:1-2

Words and Woes

Hear this word, O you of Israel, that the Lord pronounces over you, over the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt: You alone have I favored more than all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your crimes.

These are harsh verses to hear from a God whom we see as forgiving and merciful; yet Amos speaks these words and woes.

God says: I have created you in my image.  I have brought you out of exile. I have healed you, clothed you, and fed you. I have loved you. When you are in crisis I walk with you. When you are fear-filled I protect you. When you are libeled and slandered I defend you. And when you turn away from me I cry out to you. When calamity strikes I am beside you even though you may not see me or feel my presence. I am ever waiting. I am ever yearning. Come to me with all that you have and all that you are.

From Luke 6: Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose twelve, whom he also called Apostles: Simon, whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.  And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon and came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because the power came forth from him and healed them all. 

Wisdom 9:13: Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what God intends? For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans.

We cannot understand the mind of God and yet we see God’s mercy.

We cannot know how God will judge and yet we see God’s justice.

We cannot comprehend the heart of God and yet we see God’s goodness.

Let us go to God with our own words and woes and let us listen for God’s voice.


Image from: http://37stories.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/the-mind-of-christ/

To understand more about the Northern Kingdom of Israel, visit: http://www.gotquestions.org/Israel-Northern-Southern-kingdoms.html

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Hans-suess: The Acension of Christ

Acts 1: In God’s Season

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

“It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. 

These are some of the words spoken by Jesus to the eleven he left behind.  The resurrected Christ returns, after having died, to gather his flock, to bless them, and to send them into the world.  They are to be his hands and feet, eyes and ears . . . they are to build the new kingdom in all places of the earth.

After Jesus ascends into heaven and out of sight, the eleven and their companions are asked by two men dressed in white garments who are standing beside them, “Why are you standing there looking at the sky?”

We too, are sent into the world as the hands and feet, eyes and ears of Jesus.  We also must wait for the events in our lives to unfold in God’s full season.  We will want to linger in the places where we have felt Jesus’ presence as he has walked with us; but we must move on, knowing that although he may not be physically present to us . . . Christ walks with us still.

The eleven and their companions formed a tiny community of one hundred and twenty (verse 15), the number needed to form a new worship group in the Jewish tradition.  They elect Matthias to replace Judas the Iscariot.  The Mother of Christ remains with them, as do the other women who walked with Jesus.  They come together to devote themselves in one accord to prayer.  They are the nucleus which the Holy Spirit nurtures into a world-wide church.

When I think of the many obstacles that stood in the way of this small beginning . . . I see as miracle the fact that the story of Christ survived . . . but then it is Christ’s story . . . it is the only story worth telling . . . and it remains with us still . . . in God’s full season.

We will want to repeat this story often . . . both to those we know as we do old family stories . . . and to those we meet . . . as a story of welcome . . . as a story of wonder . . . as a story of praise . . . as we move through God’s seasons . . . in God’s time.  We will want to stand staring at the sky . . . we will want to be certain that what we have witnessed is true . . . but we will not have time to linger . . . for we are called to God’s work . . . in God’s time . . .  in God’s season.


Written on November 2, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

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Acts 5:17-42: Obeying God

Wednesday, April 13, 2016obeygodnotman

And the Apostles said in reply: We must obey God rather than men . . .

Do we see Jesus’ Apostles as only the twelve who followed him? Do we believe that Jesus’ followers were men alone? Can we stretch beyond any narrowness to believe that we number among Jesus’ Apostles today? Are we willing to stand during difficult times to say . . . we must obey God rather than men . . .?

When we read these verses in their varying translations, how do they speak to us of Jesus’ remarkable gift of resurrection? What do they reveal to us about God’s generous promises? And why do they call us – or perhaps not call us – to become one with the Spirit that wants to heal a troubled world? When we use the scripture link to explore this story of the Apostles who carry out miracles in Jesus’ name well after his death, we find new life and new energy to carry out the Gospel in all we say and do. When we allow God’s goodness to settle into our bones, we find new courage and new patience to smile in the face of adversity.

A video presentation of Acts 5:17-42 may be of interest. While we may not be in accord with all the speaker tells us, we are invited to reflect on this story of the importance of obeying God. Click on the image above or go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MiSr5yx9nA

 

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Colossians 4:1-6The Apostolic Spiritcolossians-4-2-ipad-christian-wallpaper-prayer-pray-always-continuously-bible-lock-screens

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

If we are ever in doubt as to how we are to behave or how we are to act in any situation, today’s brief reflection tells us all we need to know . . . the Apostolic Spirit resides in our prayer and speech.

An apostle is watchful, thankful, perseveres in prayer . . . and remains open to hearing the Word.

An apostle remains open to speaking this Word to others, and will also make the most of [every] opportunity to speak to outsiders. 

Apostles live the mystery they are given.  Apostles trust the creator in all circumstances.  Apostles bring hope to hopeless situations.  Apostles rebuke gently, love mercifully and always remain open to possibilities.

Apostles cannot carry this spirit in their hearts to hoard it for themselves . . . this spirit must be shared.

Apostles cannot remain silent when they are called speak.

Apostles cannot perform their mission alone; they must pray constantly and with others.

colossians_4_2--white-800x800And so we pray:

God in heaven, God on earth, we know that we are your instruments for justice among your people.  Speak to us today.

Joyful Christ, burdened Jesus, we know that you carry us up mountains and down on our journey.  Pray for us today.

Holy Spirit, Loving Spirit, we know that you abide with always when we cry and when we laugh.  Renew in us your Apostolic Spirit today. 

May our lives enact the mercy and justice which we are shown.  May we be the conveyors of Christ to the world.  Amen.

A Favorite from September 15, 2008.

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