Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for Jesus’ sake will find it. Matthew 10:39
Gracious God, we who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death:
we pray that, as you raised him from death, so by the power of the Holy Spirit we may live the new life to your glory, knowing ourselves to be dead in sin but alive for you in Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
- Acts 2:1-21
- Psalm 104:26-36
- 1 Cor 12:1-13
- John 20:19-23
- Next week:
- Genesis 22:1-14
- Psalm 13
- Romans 6:12-23
- Matthew 10:40-42
A Thought to Ponder
Pentecost 4 – Matthew 10:26-33
“Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.”
In Matthew’s missionary discourse, Jesus instils in his disciples of the need for courage and discernment in their preaching of the Gospel. The disciple who faithfully proclaims his Gospel can expect to be denounced, ridiculed and abused; but Jesus assures his followers that they have nothing to fear from those who would deprive “the body of life,” for their perseverant and faithful witness to the Gospel will be exalted in the reign of God.
In the Gospels, Christ reveals a God who loves us and cares for us and every “strand” of creation. Sometimes we are called to be the vehicles of God’s love for those desperate to realize that presence in their lives; sometimes we are the recipients of such blessings of forgiveness and compassion. The providence of God who has “counted . . . all the hairs of your head” manifests itself in the love of family, the comfort of friends, the support of church and community.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls us beyond our fears and insecurities; he invites us to embrace a spirit of joy and possibility beyond our comfort zone. Three times in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid, that we have nothing to fear before God who has proven his love and acceptance of us unreservedly. Christ calls us in to embrace a vision of hope that is the opposite of fear — hope that matches our uncertainty of the unknown with the certainty of the love of God; hope that can only be found and embraced once we reach beyond our own fears to confront the fears and heal the hurts of others; hope that the Good Fridays of our lives will be transformed into Easter completeness.
We “disown” Jesus, not only by what we do, but by what we fail to do. We “deny” Jesus by our silence in the face of injustice, our protecting our own interests at the expense of the common good, our failure to respond to Christ calling us in the cries of the poor, the abused, the desperate and the lost. © Connections/MediaWorks
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