Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Party of Inquiry: Acts 11 with poem by Stephen Phillips, Benediction

Daily Readings
Psalm 11, Genesis 12, Isaiah 13, Acts 11

Daily Text: Acts 11

A Party of Inquiry
The spread of the church following the martyrdom of Stephen must have given many a Jerusalem apostle a sleepless night. Every time they heard of a new approach to the Gentiles, or even the Hellenists, they sent a party of inquiry. Peter and John, then Peter, and now Barnabas, in Acts 11, has been sent to investigate reports of matters spinning out of Jerusalem’s control. They must have felt like modern-day bishops with the clergy and people in rebellion. And to make matters worse, the emissaries usually approved of what was happening and fostered it. They did this because they quickly became convinced that it was the work of the Holy Spirit and not that of the local Christians. God will not be bound by our assumptions. It is we who are bound by our assumptions.

From “Herod”
Stephen Phillips,1868-1915

Now unto Him who brought His people forth
Out of the wilderness, by day a cloud,
By night a pillar of fire; to Him alone,
Look we at last and to no other look we.


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