In this letter, Peter begins to develop thoughts about the
household of God and the unity of that household—the deep
connections within the household. In October 2010 I attended
the North Georgia Men’s Walk to Emmaus #144. I have never
been the same. I took time away to be with God and others.
I listened to the presentation over the three days’ time of the
“short course” in Christianity. I was seated with seven other
men at the Table of Peter. We shared our insights and reflected
together. As a result of that placing, I decided to read the Gospels
from the perspective of Peter. A year later I presented a
devotion for a group of men serving on another Walk. First Peter
2:2-3 served as the starting point for my devotion.
My biannual involvement in Emmaus Walks as part of the
servant team provides spiritual renewal for me. None of my
other routine prayer and meditation practices comes close to the
impact of this three-day experience. During my pilgrim journey
in 2010 I tasted and saw that the Lord is good. I was like a newborn
baby then and feel like a newborn baby each time I return
as I gain new insights into the Christian life from others seated
around the table. Each time I return in a slightly differing role
with a new group of men, I glimpse our Lord’s abundant and
unmerited love. It is life in grace, the presence of Jesus.
The holy ground for these walks with the risen Christ is
called The King’s Retreat. When all the servants and pilgrims
show up on the Thursday of a three-day Emmaus Walk, we are
all running—some of us away from God again. Before Sunday’s
conclusion, we have stopped running.
Who are these guys? They are faithful pilgrims seeking an
ever-deepening walk with Jesus Christ by slowing down to
hear his voice and to share in fellowship around a table. May
we seek such times with Christ.
Abba, thank you for your pure, spiritual milk so we may grow toward our salvation. Amen.
Since the beginning, Israel’s faith has turned to God in situations of extreme trouble. In such turning, Israel has found God utterly reliable and able to rescue. Today’s psalm reading sounds those ancient cadences of reliability. The sermon in Acts 7 takes up those ancient cadences and places them on the lips and in the mouth of Stephen. Stephen’s preaching evokes hostility in his listeners. In the end, however, it is Stephen who knows the joy and well- being of life as a gift from God. Both the Gospel and epistle readings turn the faith of the psalm and drama of Stephen’s ending toward the concrete reality of the church. They tilt toward the need of a domesticated church to reengage its peculiar identity and its unusual mode of being. The language of “place” serves the practice of risky obedience.
• Read Acts 7:55-60. When have you experienced the Holy Spirit’s nudge telling you, “This is wrong”? What did you do?
• Read 1 Peter 2:2-10. How will we continue to drink of pure spiritual milk so we can repeatedly be called out of darkness into God’s light?
• Read Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16. What would it mean for you to
say to God, “My times are in your hand”?
• Read John 14:1-14. What tough faith questions have you asked Jesus? What was his response?
Respond by posting a prayer.