Thursday 11 June 2015

Bible Book:

“At that time period prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine over all the world; and this took place during the reign of Claudius. The disciples determined that according to their ability, each would send relief to the believers living in Judea; this they did, sending it to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.” (vv. 27-30)

Acts 11:19-30 Thursday 11 June 2015

Psalm: Psalm 19


I find this story from Acts just delightful! It is preceded byPeter's sailcloth vision and accounts of the growing number ofpeople who were becoming Christians (Acts11:1-18). So the tone is very upbeat and heartening. I amparticularly drawn to the travels of Barnabas who went to Antiochtaking with him Saul. There, these two disciples stayed for a wholeyear building up the community and it is in Antioch we are told,that the disciples were first given the name of Christians (verse26).

But this is not the only first that comes out of this story. Wego on to read of how money was sent to another part of the worldbecause of a great famine, for the relief of their fellowChristians. So there we have the pattern of our giving established.Was this the story that moved the early Methodists to build up aworldwide Church? Was this the pattern that has informed our growthof outreach workers?

Not far from where I live is Chelsea Old Church. It is on theground where Thomas More worshipped, though the original buildingshave long since gone. Like the story above, I find myself greatlymoved by places and activities that have been witness to and forGod for hundreds of years. I find places where people have prayedfor centuries, particularly so. The hope that 'all will be well'becomes more vivid somehow as I acknowledge these facts andrecognise the perpetuity of lives lived so faithfully and theireffect on me.

To Ponder

  • Not all traditions are worthy of a long life. Some can stranglefaithful lives and others nurture them. Take a long look (from adistance) at some of the traditions that you are aware of in yoursituation and let your heart respond to them. Allow yourself tofeel their importance to you or not, and consider how you mightcontinue to live with or without them.
  • Reflect on the theme of hope in the context of tradition. Howdoes this inspire you or trouble you?
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