Acts 15, 1-2, 22-29, Unless you are circumcised you cannot be saved.
Psalm 67, Oh, God let all the nations praise you.
Revelation 21, 10-14, 22-23, The angel took me to a great, high mountain.
John 14, 23-29, Whoever loves me will keep my word.
Welcome home, Chloe, you are beautiful and special here.
Acts observations again:
WHO: same as author of Gospel of Luke, Chapter 15 of 28
WHEN: late 60’s, before 70
WHY: To further Paul’s desire to make “The Way” of Jesus’ followers acceptable to people in the Greco-Roman world of his time.
Today’s reading from Chapter 15 of Acts gives us another example of how the followers of Jesus at that time were originally Jewish. We have no documents from the 20 years following Jesus’ death. Scholars conjecture that there were writings from that time that became sources for the authors of the gospels of Matthew and Luke.
Victoria, along with Zoe, they say, Welcome, Everybody."
My Peace I give to you
My Peace I give to you. What a beautiful gift. The Best. How do you find it?
I would like to talk about finding the peace this morning. I would propose that the gift is all around us. It is here in our community, it is in our homes, it is in Tom Thumb, it is in our city. I would suggest that there are big and little packages of peace. For example, some little packages that give me peace.
First, taking Aviana, our dog, for a walk. Rosemary takes Aviana for two or three afternoon walks. Along the way she gets to know so many of our neighbors.
Brandon, the guy with all the personality, also says, "Hi, Folks."
I take Aviana for 3 walks in the morning, including her first walk at ca. 4:15. Want to know what peace is? Watching her do her business quickly, especially both of them on this 5 minute walk. It is short because she knows that she will get her breakfast right away afterward.
Secondly, try biking. Sometimes riding my bike with Rosemary around White Rock and going down the White Rock Creek Trail, I cannot believe how delightful this is. On The Trail I often think, 'I cannot really be in Dallas,' the scenery is so beautiful and natural.
Chloe put to work lighting the candles.
Thirdly, I find great peace in doing weddings and, in particular, getting together with each couple to plan their wedding. Just this past Friday and Saturday I spent an hour with two delightful couples. Saturday’s couple was Lisa Anderlick, John and Karen’s daughter.
These daily and weekly events, while being really profound to me, are what I could call smaller packages of peace. Want to know about a Big Packages?
Sisters, Jessica and Renee.
First, how can I not be touched with peace every time we all come together? Remember that morning that it was pouring rain at 9:30? Rosemary and I both said that few people would find their way here in that storm.
What happened? We had 65 plus people. The kids are a special event of peace. Our music. And just everybody. The peace of our community stays with me all week long.
The Quinn Girls, Vivienne, Kiera, & Mikayla.
Secondly, Cinco de Mayo! What?, you say. Cinco de Mayo?
This big Mexican feast is also a special day for Rosemary & me. We are celebrating our 11th anniversary. I know you figured Rosemary could not stand to live so long with this old obsessive bachelor. However, we have made it and each day brings more peace and more fun.
Another beautiful Sunday thanks to Shonda & Bethany, Ray & David.
One of the fun things takes place most weekday mornings, when I return from the J at around 7:15. I wake up Rosemary with coffee and newspaper in hand. Then I return to the kitchen, get my cup of coffee, and proceed to hop on the bed where we talk and discuss the day. Aviana is also part of the event.
Unfortunately, even though coffee is supposed to be a stimulant, when I drink it after working out, it has the opposite effect. Ten minutes and I tell Rosemary I am falling asleep and think I will take a 15 minute nap. Of course, I get a comment like, “What a fascinating conversationalist you are.”
Remember, Brent, the cupcake is for Reggie, your Souls Harbor manager and recovery story--his birthday.
What is the response to these little and big packages of peace? Two things. Awareness and Gratitude.
Where do you find The Peace?