Reading: In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35)
Observation: I read a blog last week that called into quesiton whether or not Jesus actually said the words that were attributed to him by Paul in the first reading today from the book of Acts. It is not listed in any of the Gospels that he said these words. I wanted to make two points about this verse this morning. One, does it really matter whether or not these are written down in the Gospels in order to believe that Jesus would have said them. Second point, almost 2000 years after the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we should not be trying to figure out what he literally said, but rather contemplating what it means to follow him. How much different would our lives be if we actually followed Jesus instead of constantly trying to figure him out? If our lives would be better without him, by all means, continue to bring up questions about what he said vs what he didn’t say. However, if our lives would be better following the example of Jesus, shouldn’t we just be following his example as Paul did? Besides, there is a good example of this verse in the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 15, verse 10. Since Jesus is the Word, isn’t it easy to assume that Paul attributes all of scripture to Jesus, not just the Gospels…hmm…
Personification: Joy – The ability to celebrate life even in the midst of pain and confusion. I think I have focused on this fruit of the spirit a lot lately. However, it is what I feel compelled to display once again today. It is only once I have truly seen a true spirit of celebration of life in my day that I will feel like my joy will be complete as Jesus talks about in the Gospel reading today.
Prayer: Lord, make today unlike any other day in that I will be able to display real joy in my life about the things that are good that come from you. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit. Amen.