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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Aug 14, 2014 | Comments (0)


Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. He is the complete revelation of God’s will of grace for salvation. Grace is the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life.

The Gospel of grace is: rather than trying to be more faithful to become faithful, we become faithful by feeling the Faith God already has for and in us.

The Strength of Christianity is Grace

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Another name for Jesus is "Grace". Another name for God is "Grace". We are saved by GRACE. "Love" is not Love if it is not grace. This is true for "Faith", "Hope", "Joy" and all other theological words of significance in the scripture.

Until someone experiences the grace gift in their lives, all other theological words have no real meaning. Why not begin to use the word "grace" in place of "Jesus", "God", "the Spirit", "Love" and so on? It might seem inappropriate to do so. However, until it is actually experienced it will make no sense at all.

That is what this year is all about. Grace, did you get it?

 

Now you see it, now you don’t.

Grace is like quicksilver. Grab it too tightly and it squirts out. Hold it too cavalierly and it spills out. Treat is gracefully and it is always with you.

Pray this prayer from the Collect for this Sunday:

”Grant O God, that your Church, be gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit to show forth your power among all peoples.”

Now quietly move into God's Presence and pray the prayer again:

“Grant O God, that your Church, be gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit to show forth your power among all peoples.”

Did you feel the difference?

 

Matthew 16:13-20 Who do You Say?

Peter's Second Confession

Jesus is in the northern part of the country in the district of Caesarea Philippi. He is preparing for His entry into Jerusalem, where there will be arrest, death and resurrection. He wants the disciples to know who He is. He asks them who others say He is. They reply that some say John the Baptist while others say Elijah or one of the prophets. But who do you say that I am? Peter answers, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus responds, “Blessed are you, Simon for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.”

This is an example of Peter experiencing the Presence of the Love that Jesus has for him. Feeling this love creates the Wisdom to know who Jesus is. Jesus then responds to Peter’s confession that He will build His Church on this. It is a mistake to think Jesus is building His Church on Peter. It is on the confession that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus then orders them not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah. The reason for this is if they did they would be in imminent danger of blasphemy and death.

It is important to realize that when there is an event in the scriptures, sometimes they are one of a kind. At other times, the event could have happened more times than mentioned but there was not enough room to include them all. John 20:30 Jesus could have walked on water more than once. He could have fed thousands more times than mentioned. Most likely, changing the water into wine was a one shot affair.

Peter made this confession another time. It was in the middle of Jesus ministry. John tells us of it happening on the day after the feeding of the five-thousand. Jesus has just told his disciples they who eat My flesh and drink My blood abide in Me and I in them. Does this offend you? It is the Spirit that gives Life. The flesh profits nothing. The words I speak to you are spirit and they are life. From that time many of His disciples left and walked with Him no more. Jesus asks the twelve, “Do you also want to go?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:51-69

This confession is what makes the Church Christian. It is not only Christian but it makes Jesus Christ the central authority of the Church. If others say things that do not agree with what He tells us, we must heed what Jesus says over what anyone else might say. This includes the Laws of Moses and the words of the Prophets. It even includes some words recorded in the New Testament such as the time Peter is rebuked by Jesus when he spoke while not in the Spirit. Matthew 16:23 or Mark 8:33

However, the Church that seeks union of belief is not what Jesus prayed for in John 17:20-21. His prayer is that we all might be one as He and the Father are one. This is not theological unity but spiritual union.

“Grant O God, that your Church, be gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit to show forth your power among all peoples.”


THE DISCIPLE-SHIFT: The Virtual Small Group: Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.


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