Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Readings for May 13, 2012

Hello Everyone,

This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day. We all have mothers and most of us have a great relationship to our Moms or great memories of our Moms who have passed from this life into the next. There are some of us, however, who have either negative feelings or mixed feelings about their mother for lots of different reasons: abuse, addiction, absence, indifference, illness, depression, to name a few. Some among us want to be mothers but are not able, again for a variety of reasons. And if we were to be honest, there are probably a few women who are mothers but would rather not be. this Sunday, we honor Mothers but we also hold in our hearts and prayers all who have some sort of issue with motherhood. May God’s Spirit give them strength, courage, and hope.

We continue our readings in Acts, 1 John, and John this week.

Acts 10:44-48 – This short passage come at the end of a longish story. Peter is in Joppa where he raises Tabatha, a FEMALE disciple, from death (Acts 9:32-43). The story I would like you to read starts at 10:1 and is about a Roman Centurion, Cornelius, in Caesarea. I won’t go into the details of the story (angels, visions, blankets of unclean food, etc.) because I trust you will read it for yourselves. Our reading of five verses are about the work of the Spirit resulting from Peter’s preaching. What happens to Cornelius’ family when Peter arrives and preaches the Good News? What is Peter’s companion’s reaction? What then happens to the family? (An aside: Peter says something very interesting in 10:34-36. If God shows no partiality to any group of people, why do we?)

Psalm 98 – How and why should we praise the Lord? The answer to that question is found in this Psalm. There is a great snappy hymn in “The Faith We Sing” that is a rendition of this great Psalm titled “Sing a New Song to the Lord” by Timothy Dudley-Smith.

1 John 5:1-6 – The themes of 1 John are again repeated in our verses this week: God’s love, loving others, believing in Jesus, keeping God’s/Jesus’ commandment, and abiding/remaining/being in God. Love for neighbor is love for God and love for God is love for neighbor and God’s love for us is absolute. Two things seem new here: we who are born of God have defeated the world and that victory is our faith, our belief in Jesus Christ. Does it feel like you have defeated the world? I may have to wrestle with this a bit.

John 15:9-17 – Here is the information and questions I sent last week in my first email in which I used the wrong Gospel lesson.

This passage happens as Jesus is with his disciples for his final dinner. The Gospel of John describes Jesus washing his disciples feet, telling them of the betrayal, and then teaching them about what would happen. This teaching moment starts at 13:31 and goes to 16:33 and then concludes with Jesus’ prayer in 17:1-26. Chapter 14 gives us another “I AM” statement: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (14:6). The beginning of chapter 15 gives us another: “I am the true vine and my Father is the vineyard keeper” (15:1). In our passage, Jesus talks about love and is very similar to the passage we have in 1 John [last week’s 1 John 4:7-21]. It is all about remaining in love and keeping Jesus’ commandment. By the way, there is only one commandment: 15:12. Because of this love the disciples are elevated to friends of Jesus. The old “Master-Servant” or “Teacher-Student” relationship is dissolved and they (and we) are now his friends. Does love define our relationship with our friends? Does love define our relationship with each other?

Have a great week serving the Lord by serving your neighbor.

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary

No comments:

Post a Comment