The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
While this passage may appear to be “merely transitional,” the transitions sometimes tell us a good deal about situations and expectations. I would like to challenge everyone with just a few quick observations.
In verse 22 Jesus “spent time” with his disciples. The verbs in the verse are in the imperfect tense. It typically indicates some sort of ongoing activity in the past. While we don’t know how long the activity was continuing, we get the idea it wasn’t just for a very brief period of time. A great deal of learning happens when we spend time together. Do we spend time in fellowship with Jesus, through Word and Sacrament, as well as through prayer and joining with Christians for worship and service? What could happen if we start spending a good bit of time with others who are committed to Christ and His Word?
Another note. In verse 23 John the Baptizer was also baptizing people. Verse 24 foreshadows something which may be troubling. He had not yet been placed in prison. John’s actions of baptism threatened his freedom and his very life. Are we willing that our life should be changed through our actions of obedience to Christ? Do we consider the eternal life of others as a worthy concern, worthy enough that we would risk our freedom and safety? All of the early Christians did.
In times of transition, I pray that we would see the great importance of Christ and His work in our world. May he work in us to bring his grace to our community.
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