It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Reflection on readings for February 14

When the righteous cry for help,
the Lord hears
(Psalm 34:17a)

Exodus 37:1-38:31

Matthew 28:1-20
As the women approached the grave, an earthquake shook the earth, rolling back the stone at the entrance of the tomb. An angel appeared to them telling them that Jesus had been raised from the dead and to go tell his disciples. They responded immediately. On the way, Jesus himself appeared to them.
The disciples went to Galilee. Jesus appeared to them. Some believed. Some doubted.

He told them to get to work, to make disciples of all nations.

If we could have asked those eleven disciples that day, I imagine that they would rather have had Jesus stay with them.

Instead of his staying, he told them that they weren't supposed to stay, either.

Through exodus and exile, their ancestors had learned that God could not be restricted to a geographical spot. Jesus reminds them that God is not restricted to a particular group of people, either.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations," he tells them.

We can think of this command as meaning we are supposed to go to different countries, but we also can think of it as meaning we should reach out to unfamiliar groups within our own communities.

The next part of his instructions are that baptism is not the end of becoming a Christian. Rather, disciples are supposed to teach the new adherents everything that Jesus had commanded them. Sounds like we already-Christians need to stay familiar with those commands ourselves. Teachers need teaching.

The task must have seemed large to a group of only eleven. They had others who had been meeting with them, but is it harder to convince someone familiar with you to do something new than it is to just do it without them? Question for later, it's distracting me now.

However difficult or new the task they are being commanded to undertake, they are not doing it alone. Jesus reminds them--and through them, us, "I am with you always to the end of the age."

Psalm 34:11-22
Prayer is not restricted to only private conversation. Prayer at times can and should be communal.

Hear the invitation to join in prayer with someone who has known difficulty and has known rescue:

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. ...O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him."

Proverbs 9:9-10

Prayer for Today: O Lord, we are grateful for the gifts that your people share with us each day, for your work they do within this congregation and in the world outside. Now remind us that all Christians  are to be disciples and all have a task to perform. Amen.

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