Thursday, April 14, 2016

Set Out in the Lord

By Beth DeCristofaro

The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, “Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.”  So he got up and set out. (Acts 8:26-27)

I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world. (John 6:51)

Feed me Lord, for I want eternal life in you.  Feed me Lord that I might wake each morning with an Alleluia spirit. Feed me Lord, that I might “get up and set out” to the least of your children each day.  Feed me Lord that I might sleep each night soundly in your care.

Easter leaves me wanting to say “Alleluia” for weeks.  But the disciples were not given much time for Alleluias.  The Acts of the Apostles details many incidents of harassment and repression against the followers of Jesus the Christ.  Phillip, however, responds immediately and sets out in spite of possible danger.  Surely his heart was burning within him, borrowing from the road to Emmaus, when he spied the eunuch reading Isaiah and “proclaimed Jesus to him. (v. 35).” When Jesus sent the disciples out and then the seventy-two, he said “go out” without luggage, good footwear or a raincoat.  In effect, go out with the Word burning within you and proclaim.

Today’s America is a land experiencing a fair amount of violence and fear.  Jesus did not arm his disciples except with love and the Spirit.  Yet rather than welcome the stranger and proclaim as Phillip did, we talk of closing our borders and mounting patrols.  In election rallies people are struck and thrown bodily out even while exercising the age-old American privilege of free dissenting speech.  Historical monuments and places of worship are defaced by those who disagree.  Did we leave our alleluias in the places we worship with the people who are most like us? 

THE NEWSPAPER PRAYER from Communities of Salt and Light:  Look through a print or online newspaper to find a news article about an issue that affects your community or the world. Cut out (or print out) the article and bring it with you to a quiet place where you can pray. Think about how human dignity is affected by the issue or situation. Pray for God’s healing and transformation for all people impacted, lawmakers, and others. Ask God how he is asking you to respond to this issue.

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