I apologise for the long absence from this medium. Much healing has taken place; so here we go again, with more reflections on the Acts of the Apostles.
As the disciples increased in number, problems arose. This can sometimes be a real, though not inevitable challenge that accompanies expansion.
The newcomers felt marginalised. In this case, the apostles wisely used the occasion to assign certain leadership roles to others, sharing the management, but keeping within their purview the tasks directly related to verbal proclamation of the word – hence prayer is priority for them.
The effect was significant. The word continued to spread with great increase in the numbers of persons coming to faith and growing as disciples. Even priests (religious functionaries of a different persuasion) became obedient to the faith.
If all those who preach and teach the Christian faith devote time to prayer and reflection, God’s Spirit holds sway in the environments in which they seek to do ministry.
It is my prayer, that as a Minister of Word and Sacrament, I give myself to this important discipline, so that God’s purpose is fulfilled. I believe that as we stay connected to the Life-Giving vine, that life itself flows from beyond us to others beyond us.
Lord, speak to me, that I may speak
In living echoes of thy tone;
As thou hast sought, so let me seek
Thy erring children lost and lone.
O lead me, Lord, that I may lead
The wandering and the wavering feet;
O feed me, Lord, that I may feed
Thy hungering ones with manna sweet.
O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious things thou dost impart;
And wing my words that they may reach
The hidden depth of many a heart.
(Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-1879)