Daily Reflection
May 8th, 2007

Mary Ann Zimmer

Theology Department
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“Your friends make known, O God, the glorious splendor of your kingdom”

We are still in the Easter season and get to rest our hearts here for two more weeks before we come to Ascension, Pentecost and on to business as usual. I do think of this as a resting season even though we are busily following the very active life of the Church as described in the Acts of the Apostles.

It is clear from the Acts of the Apostles that the life of a witness to Jesus is often more action adventure than resting. We are witnesses to the glorious splendor of God’s kingdom. This means being participants in the making of a world organized the way God would have it. Such an undertaking brings us into direct confrontation with all that is not true to God’s dream for us.

In Nebraska, unless some miracle intervenes, we will execute a man today. This taking of a human life – not required for protecting society--is not the world as God wants it to be. And so we say no; in the midst of the helplessness one can at least say a public no to what is not of the Kingdom.

Each day, each of the witnesses to the Gospel undertakes the difficult adventure of saying yes and no dozens of times, shaping themselves and their world. In today’s reading we find Paul and Barnabas (exemplars of all the other men and women who were active witnesses to Jesus) ending one of their extended, breathless adventures. Their final act is to gather the Church to rejoice in God’s goodness and to rest there in the community of disciples.

Many of us are busily, breathlessly wrapping up our school year, preparing for the graduation and wedding season, trying to make the energy and money stretch, worrying about summer childcare arrangements, often feeling the lack of resources to say yes and no to all the things that call to us. In and around and behind all of this Jesus invites us to peace. Jesus continues to invite us to rest in confidence in his ongoing presence, in God’s limitless love for us, in the Spirit sent to accompany us on this adventure.

I often feel a need to return here to the Gospel of John —Easter season or not. It is here that we are reminded that the action adventure of the Kingdom is not something we take up alone or solely with our own resources.

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