Sunday, January 12, 2014

From Above, Yes.

23 After they (Peter and John) were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard it, they raised their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and everything in them, 25 it is you who said by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant: ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers have gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah.’ 27 For in this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness. [Acts 4:23-31] (Harper Bibles (2011-11-15). NRSV Catholic Edition Bible (p. 1018). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.)

I am thinking that more of us should be adhering closer to the Acts of the Apostles as our "road map". Although I am tempted to illustrate on two big issues, I will make just one statement on this Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

The powerful verses cited above with their multiple references to other passages in Scripture stand at odds to much analysis and discussion simply because they are essential. If the first Christians found themselves in conflict, well, it was over the Name. These verses leave no doubt concerning Who, namely Jesus, is prime.

By the grace of our Baptism in the waters made holy by the Author of Baptism Himself, let us all pray for boldness on this Sunday. May we all find the courage to live and act always for the sake of His Name!

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