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Party with Peter and Paul

by davesandel on June 29th, 2020

Monday, June 29, 2020                       (today’s lectionary)

Party with Peter and Paul

Luke’s words rest heavy.

In those days

King Herod laid hands on them

To harm them.

James the brother of John is killed, head cut off quickly. Peter arrested soon after, to appease the scribes. But Peter was soon released by the angel of the Lord, removed from a double set of chains in the middle of the night and led through several suddenly open doors.

At Danville Correctional Center there are ten doors which open electronically between the free outdoors and the unfree but grass-covered quad inside the prison.

The angel opened all those doors.

Then suddenly the angel left him

And Peter recovered his senses.

Peter went on to many bigger and better things before he too was martyred by foolish authorities listening to ugly voices louder than the quiet whispers of our peaceful God.

God does not always seem peaceful. But it is peace and love that define her. God does not listen to the praises or the wheedlings of men.

So I will bless the Lord at all times

His praise shall ever be in my mouth

Glorify the lord with me!

I fought the law, and the law won … but

I sought the Lord and he answered me

My face no longer blushes with shame

Because the angel of the Lord is all around me

On this last solemnity of June, let us celebrate Peter and Paul, their walks on earth complete. How many names did Jesus change? At least two. Simon the self-righteous fisherman who often found his foot in his mouth, became Peter the Rock, “and upon this rock I will build my church.”

Nothing will stand against this church, Peter.

Nothing flesh

Nothing blood

Nothing of the rules or authorities or powers

Of this dark world

Nothing of the spiritual forces in the heavenly realms

Will stand against this church

And Paul. His name too was changed from Saul to Paul. His days and months and years have been full of satisfaction and suffering, celebration and sorrow, great guilt and great forgiveness. And he’s just about done with the only race worth running.

I am poured out on the ground like a drink offering

And I’ve run hard right to the finish

I have kept the faith

All that’s left now is the shouting

With Paul I swallow, breathe deep, and take it ALL in. Breathe God’s air into my lungs. Know I’m loved in the glory and the shame of my life lived.

All of us, let’s celebrate! Shout unto God with a voice of triumph. Make your praises loud. Claim the name of Jesus.

Who do YOU say I am?

Peter spoke up in the sudden silence.

“You are the Messiah, Son of the Living God.”

Jesus knew these words came through Peter from the Holy Spirit.

You bring life, you bring love

You bring light to the darkness

You have free access to God’s kingdom

With keys to open any and every door.

No more will there be barriers between heaven and earth.

It’s God’s breath in your lungs,

So pour out your praise.

            (Acts 12, Psalm 34, 2 Timothy 4, Matthew 16)


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