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Our God reigns

by davesandel on May 28th, 2020

May 27, 2020               (today’s lectionary)

 Our God reigns

Watch yourself! And after that watch everyone else. They depend on you, and God depends on you.

Know-what-I-mean? In Ernest Goes to Jail, he goes on to say, “We’re sequestered. And on top of that we can’t even leave! This is just great.” Everywhere I look there are intended references to our strange but true situation. We shelter in place with the best of them.

Paul asked the Ephesian church leaders to come the thirty miles to Miletus because he had his unspoken reasons not to go there himself. Paul asked them to come, he told them he would not see them again, he warned them of savage wolves that will not spare your flock, sometimes even from your own group. Be vigilant. Watch yourself and all of those you love, I love, God above all … loves you, loves them.

Like Jesus, Paul spent three years with his disciples. These very hands have served you. By hard work we must help the weak and remember always what Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than receive.”

Somehow, Paul was able to quote Jesus’ words. Then he knelt before them and prayed for them, overwhelmed.

Deep true emotion, grief in fact, pours over them all. They sob, they throw their arms around Paul and kiss him. This cannot be, but is.

So they escorted him to the ship.

Paul was off to other kingdoms, while they stayed home and used their own “very hands” to serve, to give and be blessed by it.

Paul too was sad, but standing at the bow of the ship he heard the siren song of the Spirit, and he looked ahead to Jerusalem, and on to Rome. “Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth! Let the kings bring gifts to your temple in Jerusalem. I chant praise to you, Lord. You ride on the heights of the ancient heavens!” Now you are carrying me along with you.

Paul’s thoughts tumble before him in the salty ocean breeze, and he echoes the voice he hears, the voice of power: “Confess the power of God!”

It is God from whom I receive power and strength.

 

We have no record of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians. But surely in the back of his mind Paul listened to, and echoed, Jesus’ prayer for his disciples.

Holy Father keep them … in your name

These that you have given me

Let them become one with you as I am one with you

I protected them, I guard them and none was lost except Judas so Scripture could be fulfilled

Because I gave them your word, the world hated them

But they no longer belong to that world.

In this world where they continue to live

Protect them from the Evil One. Hold them, make them holy in your word, in the truth.

As I have come, now you go into all the world, and be consecrated in the truth.    

(Acts 20, Psalm 68, John 17)

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