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In the morning when I rise

by davesandel on April 23rd, 2021

Friday, April 23, 2021             (today’s lectionary)

In the morning, when I rise

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. The one who feeds on me will have life.

When Saul heard what Jesus said, he was appalled. No one gives up even a pound of his flesh without dying. No sane person would listen long, and certainly none would follow him.

We might call these words “Stories from the Annals of QAnon.” Saul called it blasphemy.

Saul, breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, asked to go to Damascus, so that if he found men and women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.

Saul got permission, but he didn’t get to Damascus.

On the journey a light from the sky flashed around him. Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice.

His companions heard the voice as well. Saul had been cornered by the Christ, and there was nothing left for him but blind (literally) obedience. He would soon become Christ’s strongest servant, inviting far more Greeks than even Hebrews to eat the flesh of Jesus, and to drink his blood. But for now, Saul was blind and unable to eat or drink. His fellow travelers were speechless.

Like a doctor (and maybe he was), Ananias of Damascus was sent to a street called straight. “Find Saul, who is there praying.” Ananias knew the name of Saul, and he was afraid. “Surely not, Lord.”

This man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel, and I will show him what he must suffer for my name.

Ananias did God’s bidding. Saul had been his enemy the week before, but today, Ananias called Saul his brother.

Immediately things like scales fell from Saul’s eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized, and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength. He began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Many of us can point to moments when scales fell from our eyes. I certainly can. But just as Paul never quite regained his eyesight, I don’t either. In the morning when I rise, my eyes stick together until I wash them with warm water. And also in the morning, when I rise, I must realign my mind and recognize the presence of God. “Thank you, Lord. For this day. Our father, who art in heaven. For thine is the power and the glory, forever and ever. I believe in God the Father Almighty. For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on me and on the whole world. Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of my enemies. Love me, God says, and love my children. You have only one enemy in this world. He is not your neighbor.”

What should I do today, Lord? I am afraid of one thing or another. But in the morning when I rise, God reminds me of his point of view, and I remember that my fears are based on exaggerated and incomplete information. God speaks quietly, “Do not ignore the stories of catastrophe instantly available to you from around the world. But see them through my eyes, since you have scales on yours. It is my perspective that must guide yours.”

See what love the Father has for us.

That’s next week’s lectionary, while today Jesus improves on the manna God sent in tough love to his people in the wilderness.

The one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.

Lord Jesus Christ, son of God have mercy on me, a sinner.

Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Come, Lord Jesus.

(Acts 9, Psalm 117, John 6)

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