Finishing what seems like a very long week. In real time, that is the actual dates I sit down to write, it is almost a week before you are reading this beloved reader. Working that out on the calendar, it is the first day of the New Year as I sit in contemplation about the verses for the second Sunday of the New Year, and the first Sunday after Epiphany which was just yesterday. At times I do not know if I am coming or going. However, I feel like the passage from the gospel is very grounding. And it affirms and confirms my appreciation for Peter.
“Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ–he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:34-43)
Peter was speaking to his fellow believers on the issue of Gentiles believing in God. And following God. It is a good passage to follow up the Epiphany of Jesus and his baptism. In looking back it foretells what Jesus’s ministry will be like, as we begin again to travel the road with Jesus as the story again unfolds. This year the theme is calling new converts to faith. And for those of us who are old in our faith, it invites to reaffirm what we know and learn further. It will be a good year – I hope and pray!
“Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.” (Psalm 29:1)
Another good way to ground one’s self is to praise God. We may not have all that we need to to cope with and survive what has been and is our lot in life. I have heard it said that God “does not give more than what we can bear.” Well, I am not sure how much truth there is to that. What I do know is that there is nothing that God cannot bear or overcome. And if we are attached to God, grounded in God and believing in God – then God will bear and overcome what we cannot not. And that is worth praising God about!
“Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name; worship the LORD in holy splendor.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!” (Verses 2 to 11)
May you, beloved reader, be grounded in God and ready with the Lord’s support and help to meet and overcome all that the New Year will bring! Selah!