Love One Another
If you knew you had only hours to live, what would you tell the ones who would be left behind? What if you knew that your death would shake them to their core? What words would ever be enough? In the Gospels this week, we come to the Last Supper and the last things that Jesus says to the apostles before He is arrested.Jesus gives them instruction, consolation, promises, and commands, plus a very generous promise that the Holy Spirit will come and remind them of all He is tell
I have a black thumb. For any plant to stay alive on my watch, it has to be by the kitchen sink or outside and hardy enough to live on its own. So far, my survival record for plants by the sink is 0, but my "outside or die" plants have bumped up to 4. I don't do a thing to them. In fact, I was surprised to see three of them last spring. I honestly thought I had killed them all a couple years before. Fortunately for my plants, they found soil and water that was perfectly suite
Last week, Paul was told that he would be the one to preach to the Gentiles. This was new for the group, even though Jesus had hinted at it several times during His ministry. Jesus was considered the Jewish Messiah, the one who was to come and save Israel. He taught in the synagogues and in the temple, and celebrated the Jewish feasts, not any of the pagan ones. This week, Peter is let in on the idea that the Gentiles are part of the plan. (Acts 11:1-18) It only takes a visio
I am the Good Shepherd
Last week, we heard John 3:16, "For God so loved the world..." but the verse my husband likes even better is the next one. "But God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:17) This week, we heard the same thing two more times. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who cares for His sheep and the gate which keeps them safely enclosed and lets them out to pasture for food. The role of Jesus is not to destroy, but to
I saw the sign
On this Fourth Sunday of Easter, the apostles are under investigation for healing a crippled man. The leaders want to know what power they used for this healing, and it doesn't seem to be in a friendly, curious sort of way, does it? Not to be intimidated, Peter speaks out and proclaims that Jesus, the one they killed, is the one who gives him the power to heal. This healing is just a signpost of the power of Jesus, with the point being that salvation is available through Him.
So much happens in the readings from Acts this week that I hardly know where to start. First, Stephen is stoned to death. This message of Jesus resurrected is really not going over well. As the stoning is going on, the bystanders place their coats at the feet of a man named Saul. Remember that name. We'll be seeing him again shortly. As he dies, Stephen cries out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." I am amazed how often we see the events of Easter repeating. Prison do
I am the Bread of Life
In this week's daily readings, the Gospel of John takes us into the day after Jesus fed the five-thousand people. He has crossed the sea, and they have come to find Him. The miracle drew them to Jesus, but He tells them that it isn't nearly enough. They wanted more food, but he tells them, "Work ... for the food that endures for eternal life." (John 6:27) Of course, as we saw last week, the scene has been set to remind us of the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt. In fa
Each Sunday of Easter, we will hear an excerpt or something related to the readings during the week. It is interesting to note what is pulled out and emphasized. This Sunday, we heard a portion of Peter's speech at Pentecost. Peter explains what happened to Jesus to the crowds gathered at Pentecost, but just as Jesus has done with him, he leaves the past in the past. What they did was out of ignorance. What really matters is what they do now. They didn't know before, but now
Know your roots
In this second week of Easter, we start into the Gospel of John. With a few exceptions, we will work our way through the entire story. It's an interesting dichotomy. Why would the readings each day include the story of the church after the Pentecost through the book of Acts and go back into Jesus' ministry in the Gospel of John? I have to wonder if it doesn't have something to do with knowing where you're going, while remembering where you're coming from. Who is this Jesus th
Why fight it?
Photo: @thoughtful_camera I have to wonder how frustrated and irritated the Jewish leaders dealing with the apostles much have been. Jesus was crucified, and now His followers are claiming that He rose from the dead. Not only that, but they are gathering thousands of followers, and fast. In the readings of the second week of Easter, (Acts 4:23-37, and 5:17-6:7), Peter and John are arrested and put into prison. In true Easter style, an angel opens the door and lets them out to