Sunday, May 22, 2011

Revelation: Easter 6A

This Week's Lectionary Texts:
Acts 17:22-31
Psalm 66:8-20
1 Peter 3:13-22
John 14:15-21

This Week's Reflection:
This week's text from 1 Peter begins with "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?" Is this guy serious? I've always been very suspicious of those TV preachers who say things like, "Trust in Jesus and everything will be okay."

We all know that being eager to do good does not mean that we will remain safe and sound. I guess that is why the writer goes on to add that even if we do suffer, it is better than suffering for doing wrong. Hmm, bottom line seems to be that there will be suffering. How we handle it is what makes all the difference in this world.

Jesus promises the disciples that he will not leave them "orphaned." I think it is safe to assume that this also applies to all of us disciples since. The Holy Spirit has come to us through divine revelation making it possible for us to not only experience God in a very personal and real way, but also to withstand the suffering that is inevitable in this world. Paul reminded the Athenians of this very thing.
'For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
The Holy Spirit has come to us and reminded us that we are the very offspring of God. This is revealed to us in scripture, artists, nature, prophets, and poets. Divine Revelation. The thing about that, though, is that because we are living in a harsh world full of suffering and questions, the revelation is not often crystal clear. Too often, we are working with a blurred vision and doing the best we can in community to follow where Jesus leads us. The Advocate helps a lot, but does not do the work for us. That work is our work. And, it may lead to suffering.

Even when suffering happens for doing what is right, the gospel writer emphasizes that we are not alone. In fact, we are promised that the Holy Spirit will never leave us.

Revelation may not be clear. It may lead us into some very difficult places. But, Jesus calls us to do what is right and to just keep on doing what is right no matter what - understanding that Holy Spirit is right there with, in, and around us.

This Week's Art
in order of appearance in the reflection