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May God arise

by davesandel on May 25th, 2020

May 25, 2020               (today’s lectionary)

 May God arise

Paul’s travels continue. On his three missionary trips the sun rose and set on 10,000 miles. Just between Antioch and Ephesus the distance is 1000 miles, and this was the journey he now undertook. When he arrived footsore but happy, he rejoiced in the wake of Apollo’s fine teaching.

Paul stayed a long time. Three years. He wrote, he taught, he prayed, he encouraged the followers of Jesus. Apollos had begun with John’s baptism of repentance, and Paul continued with the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus. They began to speak in tongues and talk about God with each other.

In all there were about twelve men. That surprises me, how few. On the other hand, twelve was the number of Jesus’ disciples. At any rate, Paul stayed and debated boldly in the synagogue. “He had the run of the place,” as Eugene Peterson puts it.

May God arise, let his enemies be scattered!

Wax melts before the fire, smoke is driven away, and haters flee before Him.

Sing and chant praise to the father of orphans and defender of widows.

You give a home to all forsaken, Lord, and lead prisoners forth into prosperity.

Of course, Paul will not have his way in the synagogue forever. Resistance will form. As Jesus said, “The hour is coming AND HAS ARRIVED when you will be scattered to your homes. You will leave me alone. But I am not alone because the Father is with me.

“In the world you will have trouble but take heart!

“Be of good cheer.

“Have courage!

“I have overcome the world.

“Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered!”             (Acts 19, Psalm 68, John 16)

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