Friday, May 18, 2012

Continually Devoted

Sixth day of the sixth week after Easter.  Read this week's lectionary readings here.

9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away.

13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.

14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

I think they call this the proto-church.  The church hadn't been founded, yet (that comes next week!) but these people kept the Lord's limited ten day mission: go to Jerusalem and wait.  And they continually devoted themselves, through prayer.

I wonder what they prayed. Could it be that their prayers were inspired by the promise the Lord made in verses 4 and 5? (Wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.")  Could it be that they remembered lessons from the Lord like Luke 11:

11 "Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?

12 "Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?

13 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

Also, this phrase "continually devoted themselves to prayer" reminds me so much of what the church in its fulness did when it was established ten days hence, in Acts 2:
42 And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Blessed is the man that doth meditate day and night in the Law of the Lord (check out today's Psalm).

Won't you join the Lord's people in continually devoting yourself to prayer?  Pray the Psalms, pray what is on your heart, talk to the Lord.  And join in devoting yourself to learning, living, and simply enjoying hearing the apostles' body of teaching (which comes from the Lord, and accepting the ones the Lord sent is mandatory for accepting the Lord Himself), and join the Lord's people in devoting yourself to sharing fellowship, and join the Lord's people in breaking bread (eating together and/or observing the Lord's Supper).

There's a big table here reaching around the world, and there's plenty of room.  Come recline next to the Lord and eat and have a conversation with Him and His disciples.

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