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Posts Tagged ‘apostleship’


John 16: Persecution Predicted

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 

Joy on stone . . .

We have never been told that apostleship is easy.  It has never been said that discipleship is easily lived.  What we have been told, and what has been said is this: your mourning will turn into joy, your reward will be great.

In this chapter Jesus speaks frankly, honestly and openly with his friends.  He assures them that once he goes their life will become difficult.  He reminds them that this is God’s plan and that once he, Jesus, has made his Exodus, the Holy Spirit will come to live with them – to continue to guide, protect and encourage them.

The apostles – and we – stumble through his meaning.  What is this little while of which Jesus speaks?  Jesus tells them that they must begin to petition the Father in Jesus’ name.  And suddenly these followers of the Christ begin to focus on the coming event: The Resurrection which Jesus predicts.  Suddenly, because they are familiar with all of the predictions made in their Testament of Torah, Wisdom and Prophets, they begin to understand that persecution must follow because Jesus is God.

In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.

If we are sailing easily through life’s storms, we must be ignoring some of our assignments.  If we are never challenged by the headlines, by our friends, by our dear ones, we must not be living in the now.  When we hear our thinking going toward “making nice”, “not wanting to upset anyone”, “ignoring something until it goes away or someone else takes care of it”, then we know that we are still stumbling through the meaning of the Christ’s words which he speaks to us today in Chapter 16 of John.

We must not be disheartened when we meet stiff necks, hard hearts, personal agendas.  We must call upon Christ to bring us hope, call upon the Holy Spirit to bring us comfort, call upon the Father to bolster our faith that all harm will be turned to good . . . and we must step fully into the arena of life.

And so we pray . . .

Jesus, God, Holy Comforter, we know that you will never lead us falsely, yet we fear the coming storm.  We doubt our own ability to follow you.  We know that you are always with us, yet your presence is sometimes difficult to feel.  We doubt our own steadfastness.  We know that your words are true, because you are Truth.  We know that your words are loving, because you are Love.  We know that the darkness is shattered by your presence, because you are Light.  Bolster us with confidence, send us courage, because we know of the persecution of this world . . . and we also know that you have already conquered this world.  We ought not to fear, but we are human.  Send us your strength.  Teach us how to find joy in the stony path of life. Remind us that joy will come of our mourning.  Amen. 


First written on June 11, 2008.  Re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

For a reflection on living in joy click on the image above or go to: http://www.writtencreations.com/blog/2012/05/30/living-in-joy/

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Thursday, October 4, 2012 – Luke 9:51-56 – Being Resolute

Tissot: Jesus Goes Up to Jerusalem

Today’s citation is also the morning’s Gospel reading.  It gives us a great deal to think about beginning with the words he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.  Jesus knew what lay before him . . . and still he went.  So must we all.

We know that life of the body ends.  There is no avoiding it.  We cannot purchase immortality with our money or our wits.  We cannot out-fox death.  No amount of money can divert its advent.  We may delay or cheat death, but we cannot master it . . . except . . . unless we are willing to go to Jerusalem with Christ.

Another phrase strikes me: they would not welcome him because they knew his destination.  Being moved out of our comfort zones is a scary proposition.  Moving into an unknown land, into territory charted by only a few is a dangerous way in which to live.  Yet it is what Jesus did.  It is what he does each day when he knocks at the door of a stubborn heart.  We are all on our way to Jerusalem, but some of us are too fearful, or we do not understand what this means . . . and we do not welcome him.

A third idea moves me as I read.  Jesus rebukes his own disciples when they want to call down fire from heaven to consume [the Samaritans].  Anger is not the Christian way of life, but rebuking is.  We are to be merciful with one another but not lenient.  Honest but not strident.  Open rather than shrill.  We are to be just with one another and avoid insisting on our own agenda.  We are to discipline one another, but not at the expense of the Gospel.

We know our destination if we let ourselves believe and hope and love in Christ.

We must welcome Christ as he stops at our door each day in the guise of fellow travelers.

We discipline one another even as Christ disciplines us, this is the Way of Apostleship.

We must be resolute, we must welcome all who call, we must rebuke one another gently and mercifully as we move along the road of the way up to Jerusalem for that is our destination.  And it is in living in this way that we encounter our immortal selves.

Written on September 30, 2008. Edited and posted today as a Favorite.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012 – 2 Timothy 2 – Purity of Heart

Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Again today we hear clear instruction from Paul about how an apostle of Christ is to conduct herself or himself.

What you have heard from me entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.

It is also clear that we are not to hoard what we have learned but are to pass it along and to share it with others.

Bear you share of hardships along with me like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

Paul also gives us ample warning that the life of apostleship is not an easy one.  If we are entirely comfortable with who and where we are . . . we might look around to see who is lacking in something, and then begin the work of an apostle of Christ to bring justice to the world.

The Lord will give you understanding in everything.

We cannot back away from this work thinking that we are not God’s proper tool.

The word of God is not chained.

Nothing is impossible for God and God will find a way to open the path to which he has called us.

Remind people of these things and charge them before God to stop disputing about words.

We are to act our teaching more than we are to preach it.

Be eager to present yourself as acceptable before God.

We are to live the Word of God just as Jesus did.

In a large household there are vessels not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for lofty and others for humble use.

We have diverse gifts which God calls into use according to his vision of the world.

Pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord with purity of heart.

Purity of intent, purity of mind, purity of heart . . . we must strain to move beyond our lacks into our promise and potential. 

Avoid foolish and ignorant debates for you know that they breed quarrels.

Bring peace.  Create places of concord.  Greet anger and anxiety with gentleness and mercy.

A slave of the Lord should not quarrel but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, correcting opponents with kindness.  It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, and that they may return to their senses out of the devil’s snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will.

But do not back away from the challenge for when we do this we back away from God.  We are to continue to run the race . . . and run it well . . . as best we are able.

Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  Pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord with purity of heart.

To reflect more of Purity of Heart, click on the image above or go to: http://www.piercedhearts.org/purity_heart_morality/a_purity_heart.htm 

 Written on September 18, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

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