Today is Wednesday the 19 May, in the seventh week of Easter.
Salt of the Sound sing, ‘Nearer my God to Thee’.
Today’s reading is from the Acts of the Apostles.
Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing. You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”’ When he had finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed. There was much weeping among them all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, grieving especially because of what he had said, that they would not see him again. Then they brought him to the ship.
In today’s reading, Paul bids farewell to the church leaders of Ephesus, and it’s clear this is an emotional event with Paul having been with them for three years. Have you experienced a similar farewell to those you have grown close to…perhaps during the pandemic? Pray for them now…
Paul implores them to care for the church using the analogy of Shepherds. He knows they will come under attack for their belief in Jesus, the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep. Who has cared for you on your journey of faith? Thank God for the shepherds you identify in your life.
As you listen to the passage again try and put yourself in the scene. What do you feel as they embrace each other and weep?
Paul sets sail on a new journey to Jerusalem not knowing what will happen to him. He chooses to leave this community who love him, for something uncertain and surrenders to the will of God. Is God calling you to leave the familiar? Talk to God now… you might like to ask the Holy Spirit to flood into your surrendered life today and guide you.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.