Pondering for Friday, August 12, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper14: Year 2

Morning, Psalm 102; Evening, Psalm 107:1-32

Judges 14:20-15:20Acts 7:17-29;  John 4:43-54

“Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way.  As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive.  So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.”  The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household.  Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.” (John 4: 50 – 54)

Once again we see that Jesus does not have to be physically where the trouble or sickness is to fix the problem or heal the sick. All our Lord Jesus has to do is say the word, and it is done.

But let me also draw your attention to the fact that the man “believed” the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way.  As I have said many times before, believing is everything.  As I have studied the language and culture of antiquity, I find that the word trust is the more definitive word for what we have as the word believe. The man with the dying son “trusted” in our Lord Jesus. And so do I.

Notice that the word faith is not a word that any English Christian translation of the Bible uses in the Gospel according to John. Faith is a noun.  Faith is the word used in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke).  John’s Gospel wants action.  Believing (or trusting) is a verb.  This again is why I crafted my own personal statement of faith.  Here it is (again):

“I Trust in the Creating Word through the Holy Spirit of the Incarnate Word, in whom we live and move and love and have our being, and to whom, we all must give an account.”

How would you sum up your faith, or just your outlook about life?  Try to write a simple sentence that says what you believe, or trust in.  My own creed does not replace our Prayer Book Nicene Creed, or Apostle’s Creed.  It is just a quick explanation of what I believe that can be said while standing on one foot, or in an elevator.  My faith statement has evolved as I have pondered over the years.  So might yours also, as you ponder anew what Christian life means to you.

Yesterday at my Cursillo Reunion group (4th Day),  I asked the question; “Give me one word that states what being a Christian means to you. I got “love” from one, and “diversity” from another.  My word is, “Servanthood.” We should all ask those we meet, “What can I do for you?”

Today we remember Florence Nightingale:

 “Florence Nightingale, whom we remember today, was born to a wealthy English family in Florence, Italy, on May 12, 1820. She was trained as a nurse in a hospital run by a Lutheran order of Deaconesses at Kaiserwerth (1851) and in 1853 became superintendent of a hospital for invalid women in London. In response to God’s call and animated by a spirit of service, in 1854 she volunteered for duty during the Crimean War and recruited 38 nurses to join her. With them she organized the first modern nursing service in the British field hospitals of Scutari and Balaclava.”  (Great Cloud of Witnesses for August 12)

 Like most mystics, Florence had a very prayerful side. In truth, she was an Anglican, and, as “An Anglican, she remained committed to a personal mystical religion, which sustained her through many years of poor health until her death in 1910. Until the end of her life, although her illness prevented her from leaving her home, she continued in frequent spiritual conversation with many prominent church leaders of the day, including the local parish priest, who regularly brought Communion to her. By the time of her death on August 13, 1910, her accomplishments and legacy were widely recognized, and she is honored throughout the world as the founder of the modern profession of nursing.”  (Great Cloud of Witnesses for August 12)

Florence Nightingale served the sick and distressed as our Lord Jesus would have us all to do.

Please keep Ukraine in your prayers. Let us serve Ukraine as best we can.

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom. 

What is Shabbat? Intro to the Jewish Sabbath – YouTube

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

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