Today’s readings bring to the forefront the consequences and rewards of change. The message is reassurance for those who have given. The individuals in these passages have given more of their time and resources than I ever have. They are experiencing greater difficulties because of their faith than I have been made to encounter.
Change is not easy. In my normal daily life I know what I am used to doing and what I am comfortable doing. Tomorrow I get on a plane heading to 5-week research project in Switzerland. My language skills are passible, but communicating in a foreign language is a stressful process for me. I find myself practicing conversations before they ever take place. Living out of a suitcase has its own challenges. I think of the disciples, their journeys and their trials. They were clearly a much more trusting and flexible group of people. In the Gospel and Epistle I see motivational support for the disciples. The Psalm shows that the central message of salvation has a long history.
Both readings and the Psalm offer glimpses of an ultimately triumphant God. They were all likely messages of encouragement to a people who felt threatened and persecuted. Refuge may also be provided in a longer-term reward. The Lord has made known has salvation. We were made aware of the details of salvation to come by the Old Testament prophets. We are reminded of promises that were reaffirmed in the New Testament.
The readings do not judge. They call each of us to higher standard. No mention is made of checking up on others. I find myself focusing on what I can be doing. The letter from Peter and the Gospel lead me to self-introspection. I have lessons from the past and hopes for the future. How do they come together in the present?
I pray today for a renewed understanding of God’s message of salvation. I pray for an improved perception of God communicating salvation throughout history. I ask for the insight to recognize the aspects of the historical prophets’ messages that both build to and that were directed to the contemporary faith community. Finally I pray for the ability to grasp the meaning of salvation to come.
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