Sundays – First Service 8:45a | Formation Hour 10:10a | Second Service 11:15a

Today’s Scripture readings: Psalm 131-133, Jer. 26:1-16, Rom. 11:1-12, John 10:19-42

 Today’s writer: Jeff Hodgson 

I have chosen a couple of themes from today’s readings that especially resonated with me.

Psalm 131 warns us that rather than being proud and haughty and struggling with “things too great …for me” we should assume a calm quietness (as a weaned child with its mother) through hope in the Lord. Psalm 133 extols the beauty of harmonious living within the Jewish community but is also a message for the church today. Often in the faith community we find discord resulting from our pride and haughtiness coupled with trying to deal with issues that are best left to those having the God-given talent to address them. As someone who has been through two major disruptions in my church families, I am especially grateful for the spirit of harmony I sense at Apostles and I am committed to doing whatever I can to preserve this spirit.

In the passages from St. John, Jesus is confronted by the Jews who wanted to kill Him, but they did not have clear evidence to convict Him of blasphemy. They demanded that He state clearly to them whether or not He was the Christ. Jesus’ response was that He had told them, but that they did not believe Him because they were not part of His flock. He then states, “I and the Father are one.” This clear admission is what the Jews were waiting for and they immediately prepared to stone Jesus. Once again, Jesus points out their wickedness, but they continue to move towards stoning Him.

Like many of us I am faced with intransigent folk (some in my own family!) who simply will not accept Christ. I have reluctantly concluded that they may not be “part of His flock.” I have struggled with the idea that there is an “elect”, but Scripture (including this passage from St. John) and my own
experiences have led me to accept this. Do we stop evangelizing? Of course not! There are too many cases of sinners (including myself) who needed to hear the Word again and again to move them to confess, repent, and accept Jesus the Christ as their Savior.