Monday, May 11, 2015

CHRISTINA BRENNAN LEE: ¨ Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things. ¨

Prayers of the People: Love, Act-ually? Sixth Sunday of Easter

for Sunday, May 10, 2015, 6th Sunday of Easter, Yr B, Reading: Acts: 10:44-48, Ps 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17
       The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out, even on the Gentiles...Then Peter said, "Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"    [Acts 10:45, 46b-47]

      Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
      [The LORD] remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel, 
and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God...
    In righteousness shall he judge the world,
and the peoples with equity. [Ps 98:1, 4, 10]

     Jesus said to his disciples, "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love...This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you...And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last...
[John 15:9, 12, 16b] 

               How intrusive is this message against the backdrop of mistrust, hatred of "the other," and the seemingly endless and rampant violence across the world and even into our very local communities? Them vs Us, You vs Me, This is Mine is the "old song" that never tires of repeating. And the "circumcised believers...were astounded" that the Holy Spirit was given "even to the Gentiles." Peter was clear that the water of baptism cannot be withheld from even those who are different because they "have received the Holy Spirit just as we have..." And Jesus was even more clear: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." Is there any room for negotiation here? Those people are doing terrible things so how can Jesus possibly expect us to love them? Well, whether or not he expects it is irrelevant, he commands it. IF we believe in Jesus, then we must bear the fruit of God's love to all people, in all places, and every one is included. I don't know who has "received the Holy Spirit" and who hasn't. That's not my job. That's for a muchhigher pay grade. And some days, loving some people is really, really hard. Help!
             So, let's start by trying to love each other and abide in - or frantically cling to - the Holy Vine together [see last week's Fruit of the Vine post]. As we grow in faith as a community, perhaps we can grow in our ability to sing a new song of love to those less lovable to us than ourselves. No easy journey is promised, only complete joy if we act-ually love.

Thanks to Christina Brenna Lee, sidebar
Thanks to People´s Prayers

WELCOME to Saint Alban Episcopal Mission/English, Antigua, Guatemala - IARCA

You are invited to join us for English services every Sunday at Noon in Antigua, Guatemala

Casa Convento Concepcion, Antigua Guatemala, All are welcome.

See welcome letter at the sidebar.

St. Alban English Mission, Antigua, Guatemala is an outreach project of The St. James English parish, Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, IARCA

Bishop Armando Guerra Soria,  Rector of St. Alban Mission, Bishop of Guatemala and Primate emeritus of Central America

The Rev. Ricardo Frohmader
Associate Minister
Saint Alban Episcopal Mission
Antigua Guatemala
Country Code 502
2366 0599; 3344 9641 

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