May 15, 2021
by Nancy Shirley
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 296

Acts 18:23-28
Psalms 47:2-3, 8-9, 10
John 16:23b-28

Celebrating Easter Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

An Easter Blessing

Easter Joy in Everyday Life

The readings during Easter season always challenge me to consider what it would be like to have lived at the time of the Apostles.  As I read of the various activities of the early believers, I often wonder how I would be at that time.  I’m sure I would doubt Saul (Paul) at first knowing of his persecution of early Christians.  Sometimes I think that the early Christians had it easier to believe since they witnessed all these miracles and, for some, actually saw Jesus and walked with Him.  Certainly, there could be no doubt that this “man” was the Son of God.  Then, I do a reality check . . .  imagine how this must have seemed – could this be what the prophets were predicting?  Could this BE? 

Oh, then there is the persecution, so probably not at all “easy” to be an early Christian.  Imagine standing so firm in your convictions that you are willing to sacrifice everything for that.  Imagine standing with your children and facing the perils of such persecution. While I am not well-read about the persecution that the Jews faced for thousands of years, my understanding as I read the bible is that this willingness to stand up for what you believe is not new for “the chosen people.”

For me, as I reflect upon all of this, the question that still arises is how would I have handled all of it – would I believe?  Would I die for my belief?  Would I share that belief with others even if it meant I would be in peril?  All of this brings up yet another question: how do I handle it today?  Am I willing to show my faith?  Do I live my faith?  There is no doubt that I believe I am a beloved child of God  . . .  do others have any inkling of that belief?  Do I walk the talk? 

It appears that every time I have a reflection to write (for which I am always grateful), I have more questions than answers.  I am challenged to really exam who I am and how that is lived and conveyed to others.  While I can not control what others think of me, I am in full control of the message(s) that I give.  I usually have a cross displayed around my neck – even when not wearing a cross necklace, my wedding band has a cross on it.  I am never without my symbol of my connection with Jesus.  Yet, are my actions always congruent with my jewelry?   If one followed me around for a day or two, would it be clear that I’m a Christian regardless of my jewelry?

I am of the vintage that I remember well the change in Church music following Vatican II.  The music of the “folk masses” filled my heart.  One of the earliest songs that I remember from this is They’ll know We are Christians by our Love and the lyric that we are one in the Spirit. So many of the songs in that era (many from the beloved St Louis Jesuits) proclaimed our beliefs in a way that demanded/encouraged actions consistent with our professions of faith.  So, the question remains for me, will they know I am Christian???

So . . .  two songs today (songs are my way to share my faith with you).
Vintage (yet pertinent today as ever – evidence the masks!!):

And new:
Whenever I hear the song below I think of St John the Baptist and all the early disciples and how they reached out to the world and continued the story that Jesus begun . . . . 
Nobody by Casting Crowns

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