Daly Office Readings for Monday, Proper 7 Year 1
“Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he came by.” (Acts 5:14 &15)
There are two points here that I want to bring out. First, the writer (we think Luke) feels it is important that we see that the great numbers of people are of both men and women. It seems this Jesus movement is inclusive and recognizes the humanity of both sexes. This is different and progressive. These people that were added were not classed as male or female. They were all known only as believers. This is the one real question for each of us today; do I believe? Am I a believer?
Second, the faith of the people works to heal the sick. They “believed” that Peter’s shadow would heal and so it did. The power of faith cannot be overstated. What we believe makes a difference.
Faith does not make a flat world round but it will move within the human sphere and bring about improvement, in the physical and mental and in the eternal spiritual self. If we believe God will improve the health or comfort of a loved one it will happen. However, such healing or comfort happens in ways according to God’s plan, in this world or in the next. We pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done.” Again, this is the one real question for each of us today; do I believe? Am I a believer? And if I find that I am, I should assemble with other like-minded believers and become part of the great numbers.
John The Baptist:
This is the day we remember John the Baptist. He is considered the last of the Hebrew Testament prophets by Christians. He proclaimed the coming of the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. His readings are: AM Psalm 82, 98; Malachi 3:1-5; John 3:22-30 PM Psalm 80; Malachi 4:1-6; Matthew 11:2-19.
In one of the above readings John the Baptist’s words are spoken with regard to how he responded to claims that he (John) was the messiah. To such claims “John answered, ‘No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. “You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, “I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.” He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3: 27 – 30)
John accepted his appointed vocation as herald of the coming of Jesus. We, today’s Christians, are assigned as heralds of the return of Jesus. How are we doing? Are we proclaiming that Jesus will increase and we will decrease? No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John+