I needed these words…

April 18, 2012

I was blessed to head over to Anglican Daily Prayer just now and read the opening sentence and collect for the day. Let’s just say, they were very needed and appropriate on a day I am easily distracted, too focused on “things below,” and thinking a lot about “covenants” and “the ministry of reconciliation.”

I’m so thankful for the daily Lectionary and how God uses it so often to speak powerful words of truth and encouragement at just the right time.  His Word IS living and active!

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Opening Sentence

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1

Collect of the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Praying for grace to abide in Christ today and keep my mind fixed on Him, and that I might live what I profess.

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Christ’s Resurrection Destroys Fear

April 18, 2012

The following devotional is from the Barnstorming blog, which posted some fantastic Lenten devotionals this year.  This post, No Fear, appeared in Lent, but focuses on Christ’s words to His disciples following His resurrection: “Do Not Be Afraid,” so I’ve been saving it as an Easter entry.  May we indeed find that the power of Christ’s love and the assurance of His victory over the forces of sin, death and hell will destroy fear in our lives and make us bold witnesses for Him.

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Rembrandt: Supper at Emmaus

Art Credit: Web Gallery of Art

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear
1 John 4:18

The community of faith and community of life in the first love was marked by the risen Christ–the Christ who had said, “I am with you always.” Everything depends on seeing the mystery of the risen Christ as unconditional love. In Christ, God’s love is put into practice.
Eberhard Arnold

Of course there was plenty to fear. There had been a brutal arrest in a garden, facilitated by one of His own. The rest ran or actively denied involvement. There was a hasty hearing, and a trial of sorts, and then beatings and condemnation by acclamation. There was the impossible task of lugging a heavy cross up hill, then being attached by nails, hung, dehydrated, denigrated, left to die.

Plenty, plenty to fear. Those who loved Him were terrified.

When they returned after the Sabbath to care for His body, still concerned for their own safety, they heard again very familiar words: “Do not be afraid.” He was conceived and born under those words, and after His death, those were among the first words they heard the risen Christ say, and He repeated them as often as they needed to hear them, which was often.

Do not be afraid.

Perfect love casts out fear. As we are so flawed, so incapable of perfect-anything, we fear, and fear desperately. But because He is capable of perfect unconditional love, He demonstrates that love tangibly and palpably: breaking bread, breaking Himself, pouring wine, pouring out Himself. He creates an everlasting community of love by promising to be with us always. So we put it into practice with each other, and especially with those who are strangers and enemies.

Why fear any longer? He is walking alongside us illuminating our minds and filling our hearts, He is at the table feeding us, He is holding us as we pass into His arms.

Perfect
mysterious
unending
unprecedented
unconditional
love has no fear
forever.

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You can find the Barnstorming Easter devotional reflections here.


1 Peter 2:1-5

April 18, 2012

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, (1 Peter 2:1-2)
      Holy Father, please change the desires of our hearts so that they are in accord with your will for us.

if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (1 Peter 2:3)
      Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; (Psalm 34:8 ). LORD, help us daily put our trust in you and enter into your blessing.

Coming to him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, (1 Peter 2:4)
      Jesus, you are my living stone of remembrance (see Joshua 4). Remind me daily by your Holy Spirit of all the good you have done for me.

you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)
      Holy Spirit, make me into a living stone that builds up the Body of Christ, your church. Thank you.

A word received: Keep looking to me.
A word received: Don’t be afraid.

Wednesday: 119:1-24 * 12, 13, 14; Exod. 15:22-16:10: 1 Pet. 2:1-10: John 15:1-11
Thursday: 18:1-20 * 18:21-50; Exod. 16:10-22: 1 Pet. 2:11-25: John 15:12-27

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Start now reading and reflecting on the lessons for next Sunday so that you can receive all that God has for you (Psalm 98 or 98:1-5; Acts 4:5-12 or Micah 4:1-5; 1 John 1:1-2:2 or Acts 4:5-12; Luke 24:36b-48 ).

Albany Intercessor


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