Readings for Saturday of Easter Week: Year C
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. So they ordered them to leave the council while they discussed the matter with one another. They said, “What will we do with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it. But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” (Acts 4: 13 – 17)
Because the earth turns out to be round and not flat as believed by early Bible writers, and thus does not have four corners, does not mean that God does not exist. And because the sun does not orbit around the earth as believed by early writers of the Bible, but in fact the earth moves around the sun, does not mean that God does not exist.
I have a strong faith. However, I pray that God assists my intellect when I’m faced with some new-to-me fact of God’s love that I did not know. So when something new is shown to me I find a way to evolve, to “re-ponder,” my faith in a way that will help me adapt to it for the sake of my soul and my love of others.
In the passage above we have men who acknowledge that good has been done. But rather than accept it and adjust, they wish to be quiet about it and keep it from the people. There comes a time when we must acknowledge the evidence presented to us. This does not mean the giving up of one’s faith, but rather, to ponder anew what the Almighty can do, and is doing.
These men in the Acts passage above are all about maintaining their religious power. They want to keep from spreading among the people something good that they themselves can’t deny. Rather than finding ways to be a part of this Good News, they want to suppress it. Do they not have loved ones who could benefit from this healing power made manifest by Peter in Jesus’ Name?
There are many religious sects today that operate from this kind of controlling fear and forbid their members from visiting or participating in any other faith traditions. The fear is that if they see something they think is better, they are lost. I am reminded of an old saying, “If you love something, let it go, if it comes back to you, it’s yours, if it does not, it never was.”
I belong to the Christian Tradition that operates our Washington National Cathedral. Many diverse faiths have been, and continue to be, invited to speak from our pulpit. Jesus is about love and inclusiveness, not fear and controlling. Thank You Lord Jesus.
Today things look gloomy in Ukraine. But we should never give up on them and what God is doing on their behalf. I heard a priest from Eastern Ukraine say that all he’s got is prayer. Prayer is enough, it will bring the help needed. I pray with him and for the whole of Ukraine. God help us.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John