Anyone miss my posting last Sunday? I was out of town, attending the christening (baptism) of my most recent granddaughter, so I didn't get those readings posted. Here are the highlights of the scripture passages recounting the acts of the apostles in spreading the new Christian church....
After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples....they strengthened the spirts of the disciples and exhorted them to presevere in the faith, saying, "It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God."
It wasn't going to be easy and they would come up against many obstacles, one of which was making the Jewish people understand that the salvation Jesus offered was to include everyone.
And when they arrived, they called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles (non-Jews).
Acts, Chapter 14
The second reading has excerpts from John's visionary dream in Revelation, which was full of symbolism, and more will continue for the next several weeks....
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
5 He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then He said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
6 He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.
7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
The gospel, recounting some of the conversation from the Last Supper....
33 "My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for Me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another."
36 Simon Peter asked Him, "Lord, where are you going?"
Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."