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Showing posts from October, 2017

Acts 5:27-32 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This week in Acts, we see another repeated theme in the early Church:  the reality of persecution.  Peter and the Apostles continue to speak and demonstrate the good news of Jesus.  Healed, forgiven and empowered, they are healing, forgiving and empowering.  This is the rhythm of effective ministy.

Where do you see these rhythms occurring in your own life?  What is either enabling effective ministry to occur in your life or community ... AND ... what is inhibiting such ministry from taking place?
God's work is not always warmly welcomed in this world.  Powerful systems of resistance seem to be constantly working against greater health, liberation, and justice in our world.  Edwin Friedman, a family therapist and ordained rabbi, often addressed this reality in his writings and lectures.  He says that any movement towards health will be met by some resistance.  In fact, he says, the efforts can be outright sabotage.  Therefore, we should be prepared for such resistance as we seek to …

Acts 5:1-11 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This past Sunday we looked at one of the more unsettling stories in the Book of Acts:  the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  As shared by Luke, this couple sold a piece of land and then proceeded to bring only a portion of the profit to the apostles - laying it at their feet for the good of the community.  However, what appeared to be their grave mistake (pun intended) was their collusion in claiming to have brought all the proceeds to the apostles when - in fact - they were keeping some back for themselves.  Peter announces first to Ananias the Lord's judgment, followed by a similar verdict being handed down to Sapphira a short time later.

Seen by itself, this is a strange story, but it begins to make more sense when we see it as "part of the whole."  The story of Ananias and Sapphira comes right after we hear once again of the community's unity and generosity, including their willingness to share their own goods and resources to take care of one another (ch. 4).  Th…

Acts 3:11-21 - Questions for Reflection & Prayer

This week we continued looking at the story of Peter and John healing a lame man on their way to the Temple (Acts 3).  Indwelled with the Spirit of the Living God, Peter and John are close to the source of all life:  Jesus the Christ.  They are continuing to devote themselves to the habits and practices that will allow the fruits of the Spirit to grow within them, including devoting themselves to times of communal prayer on a daily basis.

Now, the crowds hear this news of the lame man's healing, and they run to see this man and to discover what power or technique has healed the man.  They discover the man standing next to Peter and John and assume that these two are "holy men," something many people were searching for in Jesus' day.  This same search still goes on today.  One way we seek a better life is to seek out celebrities, gurus and human leaders that we can put our faith and hope in.

Question for reflection:  How are we tempted in our culture to put our trust i…