In today’s reading from Acts, the disciples are dealing with change, once again. A couple of months ago, Jesus was alive and well and preaching to crowds in Galilee. A little more a month ago, the women found that Jesus’ crucified body was no longer in the tomb. Immediately after that, the risen Jesus began appearing to the disciples, continuing to instruct them about his mission and their ministry.
By the Reverend Sally Weaver
A power that cannot be controlled ruthlessly changing the world. For the world of Jesus, it was the might of Rome. For us today, it’s the coronavirus. “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
People displaced from their livelihoods. In first-century Palestine, taxation and absentee landlords caused peasant farmers to lose their lands and their living. Currently in the United States, 33 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits. “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
People going hungry. Under Roman domination the at-risk population grew; only those who worked that day could afford to eat that day. Today hundreds of cars line up for a trunkful of food from pantries across the nation. “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
By the Reverend Dr. Warren Crews
The second common symbol was the picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, usually with a lamb slung over his shoulder. This symbol was often painted on the walls of the Roman catacombs. All this changed dramatically, when the Roman general Constantine became emperor, and declared himself a Christian. He ended the use of the cross for crucifixions, and declared it to be the preferred symbol for Christianity. Even so, it took a long time for most Christians to embrace this once hated symbol of Roman terrorism. They hung onto the Good Shepherd symbol as long as they could, but in the end the Cross won out.
Various members of the St. John's congregation contribute to this blog. For editorial suggestions, contact Jeff McIntire-Strasburg at firstname.lastname@example.org