Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
June 8th, 2011
Barbara Dilly

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Wednesday in the Seventh Week of Easter
[299] Acts 20:28-38
Psalm 68:29-30, 33-35a, 35bc-36ab
John 17:11b-19

In his absence, Paul reminds the church at Ephesus to watch over each other and protect each other from those who would pervert the truth they had come to know in the words of Jesus.  Paul’s letters to the churches are instructive to us today.  We are reminded that the Holy Spirit appoints us to oversee the Church of God.  But it seems to me that this message to be vigilant in keeping the truths of the church is not at all about maintaining rules.  The instructions are clear.  Help the weak and keep in mind that it is more blessed to give than receive. 
The Psalm also reminds us that God gives power and strength to his people.  We are to confess that power, sing to God, and praise the Lord for the power and strength we receive from God.  If we connect these words to the New Testament lessons and the Gospel for today, we should apply that power and strength to helping the weak before we help ourselves.  God gives us enough power to both care for ourselves and care for others.
Jesus also prays that God will protect and guard all those given to him in the Father’s name.  How can we go wrong, knowing that Jesus continues to pray on our behalf and that God continues to give us strength and power?  We shouldn’t think about our lives, then, in terms of our weaknesses, but in terms of our strengths.  But that is not so easy to do all of the time, especially as we grow older and have to acknowledge that we are physically weaker and our health is often challenged.  I have come to think, however, that during those times, God is even more with us.  It is during these times when we draw closer to God for strength that we are even more protected from evil.  While we may be weak in some ways, we can become stronger in truth in the word.
We will not get out of this life without a full realization of our weaknesses but that shouldn’t make us vulnerable to evil.  John says that Jesus didn’t ask for us to be taken out of the world, but rather to be protected from the evil one.  We are fully in God’s love and grace in the midst of this world’s challenges.  Our job on this earth is to keep watch over ourselves and others, especially the weak and the poor because this is what Jesus asked us to do.  To do this, God gives us power, the Holy Spirit calls us, and Jesus prays for us.  I like the phrase, “take care,” that we often say when we depart from our loved ones.  I think that is what Jesus said when he left this earth:  “Take Care.”  I think sharing this message is as powerful as saying, “The Peace of Christ be with you” and I warmly extend both greetings to all of our readers this day. 
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