3rd Week of Easter: Sunday
3rd Week of Easter: Sunday, 5th May 2019
Acts. 5:27-32,40-41; Ps. 30(29):2,4,5-6,11-12,13; Rev. 5:11-14; John 21:1-19 (Ps Wk III)
Oppressive institutions and governments use fear and threats to keep people silent and obedient. The authorities tried this tactic with the apostles, but it didn’t work. They were filled with the Spirit, and the Spirit gives courage and boldness. Their answer is one that we should remember: it is better to obey God than humans.
Revelation describes the source of all power and holiness: Jesus. In ecstatic prayer, the seer of Patmos ascribes all blessing, honor, power, and glory to the one who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb. There are several stories in this final chapter of John. The one that is most striking is the threefold question of Jesus to Peter: Do you love me? Peter had denied Jesus three times, now he must affirm his devotion and commitment three times.
Twice Peter replies that he does, and twice Jesus commands him to feed his sheep and tend his lambs — pastoral care is the model for leadership. Jesus asks a third time, and Peter is upset. He got the same answer again from Jesus, but this time with a mission: he was to follow Jesus, even to his death.
His life is no longer his own — the Spirit will take him where he would rather not go. It is so with us: the Spirit does not care about our own likes and dislikes, or our opinions, prejudices, and fears. The Spirit will definitely take us out of our comfort zones!
Lord, may I always proclaim your word fearlessly.