Pondering for Friday, September 30, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 21: Year 2

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

Hosea 10:1to15Acts 21:37 to 22:16Luke 6:12 to 26

“Just as Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, ‘May I say something to you?’ The tribune replied, ‘Do you know Greek?  Then you are not the Egyptian who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?’  Paul replied, ‘I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city; I beg you, let me speak to the people.’  When he had given him permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the people for silence; and when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew language, saying:” (Acts 21:37 to 40)

This passage gives us insight into the education of Paul.  He is fluent in both Hebrew and Greek and yet thought to be Egyptian by the Roman tribune who arrested him.  When permitted to speak Paul tells the people who he is and he tells how the Risen Lord met him while on his way to Damascus.

We know that God does not necessarily call the qualified, but rather, qualifies the Called.  Even so, at least in Paul’s case, God, in Christ Jesus, reaches into the life of some well educated, albeit misguided people who have strong faith and then redirects them. Paul, like too few of us, was blessed to have been afforded an education.  Too often however education can squeeze out God. Ironically, people can get too smart for God, or so they think.  Paul was such an educated man but he was misguided. The one thing he had going for him was his faith in God. Everything in the scripture supports Saul or Paul as being a Pharisee, zealous for God as he understood God to that point.  Learning should never stop.  Just when Paul thought he knew everything, our Lord Jesus stopped him in his tracks.  He had a, “wake-up” call. God in Christ Jesus uses our faith as the path to our hearts.  If we first believe in God, God will come to us in revealing ways.  We will have our own conversion story.  And, like Paul, we should tell it as often as we can.

Please keep Ukraine in your prayers, our prayers are making a real difference.

“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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