Thursday 6 June
Today is Thursday the 6 June in the seventh week of Easter.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo sing: ‘We Nhliziyo yami’: ‘O my heart be wise when your enemies surround you. Keep praying; ask the Lord for help. For he is powerful. That is your weapon; do not lose it. Pray without ceasing, for the Lord is powerful.’
Today’s reading is from the Acts of the Apostles.
Paul has the bright idea to throw out a statement that will divide his enemies. Jesus told his followers not to worry ahead of time about how to answer opponents. Do I take Jesus at his word? Do I manage not to be afraid of people who might ridicule me, or my prayers, or my religion?
Paul was defending what he knew, what he had seen, namely that Jesus had died but was alive, and for ever. When Jesus speaks to you in consoling words, do you know him, then, to be alive? When he speaks in his words from the Gospels, are they words of life to you?
Paul had not planned what to say, but God gave him this idea of how to divide his enemies. As you listen again to today’s story, notice his confidence – a confidence we can have too. If we are challenged about God, or Jesus, or prayer, the Holy Spirit will provide the answer. We have God's word for it.
The risen Lord Jesus said to Paul, "Take courage". You might want to ask the same Jesus now to give you courage, the courage of your convictions, and the trust that the Holy Spirit will be with you and give you the words you need.