Pray the week: Lord Jesus, shepherd us and teach us to trust and follow Your way.
I’ll be right there.
“I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me”
Some of us may remember that time where we cried out for our parents only to find that they didn’t come right away. Perhaps we heard them say ‘wait,’ or ‘I’ll be right there.’
Whether we can actively recall that moment or not, just the mention of it makes us uncomfortable. We realized that there would be those times where we will be utterly alone.
Or, so we thought…
Today we are reminded that we are never alone and without assistance. We also become acutely aware that the One who stands with us has done everything possible to heal any brokenness that exists in our lives, curing us of every sin. Today, Jesus comes to us in the form of the Good Shepherd.
Peter and the Apostles standing before the Sanhedrin (the same one that had brought Jesus to Pilate to be crucified) strongly proclaim that the cripple was healed through the power and proclamation of Jesus. They go on to say that no one may be saved except through Jesus’ name. Were they a little afraid? Perhaps, not knowing everything that might happen to them. Yet they acted and spoke with absolute confidence that their Shepherd was at their side, protecting, feeding, supporting, and strengthening them. Their confidence was not their own, but from the One who comes every time we call on Him. The One who listens to us and speaks to us.
So here we are. Perhaps our parents don’t come running every time we cry out. Perhaps we don’t even talk to them about our little (and sometimes larger) hurts. Perhaps they are no longer with us in bodily form. But we do have someone we can always turn to. Someone we should speak to about our joys and hurts, our thoughts and questions. That is Jesus.
Having laid down His life for us, we must know that we are totally valuable to Jesus; that the smallest thing in our lives is of concern to Him.
Jesus promises us that He knows us and that we will know His voice. Listen as He says: “I know mine, and mine know me.” To make this true requires some effort on our part. We have to reach out and talk to Jesus. Then we have to listen. Jesus does speak to us, to our conscience, to our needs, and He does come to render assistance, to give that hug, and to guide us back to the straight and narrow path when we stray. Finally, we need to live like the Apostles we are, with a spirit of confidence. Live with confidence because Jesus hears us and comes to us every time, right away.
- 4/22 – Numbers 22:31 – Father, open my eyes so that I may see the truth that is right in front of me. Grant that any opposition to Your way that is within me be ended.
- 4/23 – Numbers 24:4 – Lord God, grant that I may constantly keep my vision on You, and my ears attuned to Your Word.
- 4/24 – Numbers 24:16 – Lord God, having heard and seen You, may I fall down in adoration and thanksgiving, then grant that I may get up to make You known to all who disbelieve.
- 4/25 – 1 Corinthians 2:12 – Lord Jesus, I know You because the Holy Spirit has inspired me to faith and belief. I praise and thank You for opening me to Your revelation.
- 4/26 – 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 – Lord Jesus, grant me a spirit of freedom and distance from the allures and ways of the world that I may know You more; that I may grow in spirit and truth.
- 4/27 – 1 Corinthians 2:6-15 – Lord Jesus, You have given me, in great love, knowledge of Your way. Grant that I may not count maturity as defined by the worldly, but as defined by Your Holy Spirit.
- 4/28 – Ephesians 1:17 – Lord Jesus, I long to know You more and more. Grant that my prayer, worship, and daily work may may continue to reveal Your ways to me, and that I may reveal them to others.
Pray the week: Lord Jesus, open my heart and mind to Your truth. Grant that I may share Your revealed truth.
I am soooooo confused!
Let me explain.
“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”
Incredulous – a fancy word. It is one of those words we use when we don’t want to clearly say that a person is disbelieving.
The disciples were incredulous for joy – still disbelieving even though they had already touched Jesus. The two disciples just returned from Emmaus had walked and talked with Jesus, broken bread with Him. Yet they were still incredulous…
Here we are – the disciples still skeptical, disbelieving, unable or unwilling to believe that Jesus was standing with them and that they weren’t just seeing things. They needed to admit and accept that Jesus did rise; that He was standing there, that this was all very real and true. They needed help.
Perhaps the disciples were feeling like we do. Someone has taken the time to explain something, yet we just don’t get it. They can see it on our face even as we nod along saying, ‘Sure, I understand, I get it.’
Jesus had spent three years with His disciples. He revealed so much. He prayed with them. He talked about His Father. He revealed that He is the Son of God and son of man. They heard the Father’s voice; they saw the Spirit descend on Him in the form of a dove. They saw Him raise the dead – three times – something only God can do.
They nodded along the whole time, ‘Yes Jesus, I understand, I get it.’ They loved Him, perhaps they didn’t want to make Him mad by making Him have to explain the same thing over and over? Of course, He knew, He saw the confusion, the incredulity on their faces.
So, Jesus asked for a fish fry and proceeded to eat and teach them – to reveal everything so that they could connect the dots.
The Messiah had to offer sacrificial atonement for our sins. The sacrifice to be offered was the Messiah’s death. Based on His faithfulness, the Father raised the Messiah – and made a promise that all of us would rise too because God reigns over all opposition, even death. Finally, that the Messiah would call a group of faithful and dedicated followers to spread the news – that God came among us, was born, suffered, died, was buried, rose again, and ascended into heaven – all out of love for us.
The disbelief among the disciples was ended. It wasn’t just the fish dinner. They “got it.” They understood and received empowerment in the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The world is full of disbelief – but we have the ultimate power to make things clear and understandable. Go out and end the confusion. Connect the dots. End the incredulity!
The New York Folklore Society presents a very special event and you’re invited! Join the Society on Friday, April 20th at the Gallery of New York Folk Art, 129 Jay Street as our guest at Downtown Schenectady’s Merchant Mash-Up!
The Society is hosting Tara Kitchen, a new Schenectady Restaurant which features the cuisine of Morocco. Come join as the New York Folklore Society and Tara Kitchen “Mash Up” to offer you a night of the “taste of Morocco” with chicken kebabs and roasted eggplant and garlic dip. There will be entertainment from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. with music by classical Indian musicians Veena and Devesh Chandra.
Downtown Schenectady’s Merchant Mash-Up pairs a downtown retail establishment with an area restaurant to provide a “taste” of what Downtown Schenectady offers. Last year’s Mash-Up was a great success and this year’s will be just as delicious! Besides food tastings from world cuisines, merchants will be offering specials and entertainment throughout the evening. Come Celebrate!
The performance by Veena and Devesh Chandra is supported by funds from the Schenectady County Initiative Program. The New York Folklore Society is supported by you, our members, as well as grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the William Gundry Broughton Charitable Foundation.
- 4/15 – Philippians 1:6 – Lord Jesus, grant that I may do my utmost to build upon what You have begun in me so that upon meeting You I will be welcomed as a good and faithful servant.
- 4/16 – John 20:19,26 – Lord Jesus, I pray and long for the day of fulfillment when our bodies will become like Yours in glory. Come Lord Jesus!
- 4/17 – John 20:27 – Lord Jesus, the reality of our resurrected bodies will be like Yours. I long to reach out and touch You, and for You to welcome me home.
- 4/18 – Revelation 22:2 – Lord Jesus, I know that You are the tree of life. Grant that being grafted onto You, I too will bear much fruit, feeding all those I meet with the Good News.
- 4/19 – Revelation 22:3 – Lord Jesus, in the kingdom there will be no curse — no sickness, sadness, or mourning. Grant that my actions this day will reflect the coming kingdom. Allow me to heal suffering, alleviate sadness, and comfort those who mourn.
- 4/20 – Isaiah 35:5-6 – Lord Jesus, the joys and beauty of the kingdom have broken into the world with Your coming. Grant that I may spread the news of these joys and act in every way; doing my part to bring them about.
- 4/21 – Matthew 17:3 – Lord Jesus, in the kingdom we will know each other, conversing over the joys that fill us. Grant that I may never cause enmity for all will be my brothers and sisters in the life to come.
Pray the week: Lord Jesus, help me to see that heaven is not just a goal, but also something I must bring about.
I know, it doesn’t look like it, but right here.
“With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus”
It is a typical question children may ask, where is heaven? Truthfully, we all wonder too, where is heaven?
Scripture tells us that God created the universe in six days. Of course, the universe is what we can see and perceive. As human beings, and people who live in a culture where science has helped us so much, we may think that we could somehow analyze how things work and find that place, that part of matter and energy where we might find God and His dwelling.
If we believe, and we should, that God created the heavens and the earth we know that God’s dwelling exists apart from what we can perceive with senses and science. Heaven exists outside the dimensions of both space and time.
God’s revelation in scripture gives us glimpses into what heaven will be like. Jesus told us that He will prepare a place for us. He tells us that it will be like a great banquet. In heaven there will be no sadness, only joy, and it will be a place of light. We also know, that based on what Thomas and the other apostles and disciples experienced in meeting Jesus after the resurrection that our bodies will be imperishable, we will be glorious, powerful, and spiritual.
The problem, of course, is that we tend to perceive heaven as a different and separate place we have to get to. This can be dangerous since we may focus all our energy on getting there to the detriment of building God’s kingdom here as we are asked to do.
God and His heavenly kingdom permeate time and space. God’s kingdom – heaven – is all around us and in us. One day, and we pray soon, they will come together. We will be joined to God, the dead will be raised, and we will live together in an entirely new place, as told in the Book of Revelation 21:1: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared.
How do we get there? Through repentance from sin and being regenerated in Him. We must accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Then, by doing the things necessary to build the kingdom of God.
Heaven is here, all around us. To see it, to best get there, we must work to bring people to faith in Jesus. Then, working together, we must do our all to show what the kingdom will be like – by our charity, by love for all.
Like the apostles, that’s how we must bear witness to the resurrection.
- 4/8 – 1 Corinthians 15:57 – Lord Jesus, Your resurrection makes us partakers in Your victory. Grant that we may always cherish the promise that awaits us and do all we can to attain to everlasting life with You.
- 4/9 – John 3:16 – Holy Spirit, thank you for inspiring belief in me. Grant that I may not displace true faith and belief in my Lord and Savior, Jesus with false or trendy spirituality.
- 4/10 – Philippians 4:13 – Jesus, Your victory is my rock and assurance. Grant that this knowledge may inspire my every action and that it strengthen my courage in proclaiming Jesus to all.
- 4/11 – Romans 8:37 – Lord Jesus, Your victory is centered in Your Father’s love for us. Grant that my victories may be victories of love.
- 4/12 – Romans 8:11 – Lord Jesus, I know that I too will be raised from the dead. May this promise prompt me to action today so that I will be found worthy of the everlasting kingdom.
- 4/13 – 1 Peter 2:9 – Heavenly Father, You created nations and peoples to serve You, each in a unique and special way, with gifts flowing from culture and history. Grant that we may use our gifts for peace and see the underlying unity You call us to.
- 4/14 – Galatians 4:7 – Lord Jesus, You have made us one with You in the family of Your Heavenly Father. I praise and thank you for making me a co-heir to the eternal kingdom.
Pray the week: Lord Jesus, thank you for the victory I have in You.
What is the Lord saying to us this Easter? He is telling us that we no longer have to fear, for there is nothing we can ever do, there is no sin too great, there is no hurt to deep that cannot be forgiven by the power of the Resurrection! He is saying to us: “I am Christ. Come all you nations, receive forgiveness for the sins that defile you. I am your forgiveness. I am the Passover that brings salvation. I am the lamb that was sacrificed for you. I am your ransom, your life, your resurrection, your light; I am your salvation and your king. I will bring you to the heights of heaven. With my own right hand, I will raise you up” (from an Easter homily by Melito of Sardis), and I will draw you into my heart where you will live in the presence of God forever.
Come, rejoice, our Lord is risen,
Come sing out the proclamation.
Come sing of His Resurrection.
Lo, our Heav’nly King comes to us,
As a flow’r, arrayed so beauteous,
Over death He reigns victorious.
All the pow’rs of hell are broken,
All the foes of God are fallen,
Yet us, He has not forsaken.
Three days in the tomb He lay there,
The fate of mankind He would bear,
That His life all mankind might share.
O Lord, through Thy Resurrection,
May we find from sin redemption,
And at last know Thy Salvation.
Let the Resurrection Joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness.
Fr. Adam with wife Danuta and sons Rafal and Marek.
Co Chrystus Pan mówi nam w ten Wielkanocny czas? Chrystus mówi nam, ze nie musimy się już lękać, gdyż nie ma takiej rzeczy, którą kiedykolwiek uczynimy, nie ma tak wielkiego grzechu, nie ma tak głębokich ran, które by nie mogły być przebaczone mocą Zmartwychwstania! On mówi nam: “To ja jestem Chrystusem. Przyjdźcie zatem, wszystkie rodziny ludzkie, wszystkie w grzechach grzęznące, a otrzymacie odpuszczenie grzechów. Ja bowiem jestem waszym odpuszczeniem, Ja – Pascha zbawienia, Ja – baranek za was ofiarowany, Ja – wasz okup, Ja – życie wasze, Ja – zmartwychwstanie wasze, Ja – światło wasze, Ja – zbawienie wasze, Ja – król wasz, To Ja was wiodę na wyżyny niebieskie” (z Homilii Paschalnej Melitona z Sardes), i Ja was pociągnę do Serca Swego, gdzie na wieki będziecie żyć w obecności Boga.
Wesoły nam dzień dziś nastał,
Którego z nas każdy żądał:
Tego dnia Chrystus zmartwychwstał,
Król niebieski k`nam zawitał,
Jako śliczny kwiat. zakwitał:
Po śmierci się nam pokazał.
Piekielne moce zwojował,
Nad nędznymi się zmiłował.
Do trzeciego dnia tam mieszkał,
Ojce święte tam pocieszał.
Potem iść za sobą kazał.
Przez Twe święte Zmartwychwstanie,
daj nam grzechów odpuszczenie,
a potem wieczne zbawienie!
Pozwólmy, aby Radość Zmartwychwstania wydźwignęła nas z osamotnienia, słabości i rozpaczy ku mocy, pięknu i szczęściu.
Ks. Adam z żoną Danutą oraz synami Rafałem i Markiem.