Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
April 26, 2023
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings allow us to experience the dynamic nature of faith, as it was experienced in the early Church.And it wasn’t always pretty!
The Stoning of St. Stephen – Rembrandt
Acts tells us of a rising violence toward the Christians, especially those considered “Hellenistic Jews”. There was prejudice against them among the Pharisees even before these Jews converted to Christianity. They were “outsiders “:
The Hellenistic Jews are those who speak mainly Greek, and formerly lived outside of Judea and Galilee. But they had settled in Jerusalem — retired, as it were, to the homeland. Nevertheless, they still have affinities with lands of the Jewish dispersion from which they came. The Hebraic Jews are those who speak mainly Aramaic, and were born in Jerusalem or Judea.
Michael Morrison, PhD, professor of Biblical Studies at Grace Communion Seminary
Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was a Hellenist, as was Philip mentioned today as the first Christian missionary. He is a different Philip from the Apostle who remained in Jerusalem according to the passage.
As I picture the forces at work in the early Church, I am reminded of the ocean, ever-changing in its flow from peace to storm, yet ever-constant in its tides.
Faith is the anchor holding us steady in the waves, the sextant pointing us toward Christ’s Promise. As our Gospel says:
And this is the will of the one who sent me,John 6: 39-40
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.
Stephen had this vital and tenacious faith, and died for it. Philip had it and shared it. The Apostles had it and held it steady for the rest of us.
How is the vital and dynamic faith living in me? How deeply do I believe and live the Promise? Let’s ask God today to strengthen our faith and to keep our focus on the Promise of eternal life.
Poetry: In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being – Denise Levertov
Birds afloat in air's current,
sacred breath? No, not breath of God,
it seems, but God
the air enveloping the whole
globe of being.
It's we who breathe, in, out, in, in the sacred,
leaves astir, our wings
rising, ruffled -- but only the saints
take flight. We cower
in cliff-crevice or edge out gingerly
on branches close to the nest. The wind
marks the passage of holy ones riding
that ocean of air. Slowly their wake
reaches us, rocks us.
But storms or still,
numb or poised in attention,
we inhale, exhale, inhale,
Music: The Promise – Marc Enfroy
2 thoughts on “A Dynamic Faith”
Praying for an ever increasing gift of faith for both of us and for all people. Remembering you SPECIALLY with great love and prayers as you and our Roe celebrate your jubilees. Love you and am so grateful for the GIFT you are to my life and to the lives of so many. Keep sharing God with us. Congratulations!
Love you, Ree
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Love you, Ree. Thank you!❤️🙏