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JONAL ENTRY 1382 | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16 2014
Today's Scripture: . . . Peter [having been put in prison by Herod the king] was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison; and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, "Get up quickly." And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to
him, "Wrap your mantle around you and follow me." And he went out and followed him; he did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened to them of its own accord, and they went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel left him. And Peter came to himself, and said, "Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting."
— From the Acts of the Apostles chapter 12,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the homiletical thought below.
The weather app says it's partly cloudy here today, though my hat and coat say it has to be wetter than that. I finally figured out how to get on Skype again last night and called my brother Bob
in Willows, Calif., to let him know I won't be home this month. He was hoping, when he heard my voice, that I'd be on my way to see him, which I had expected for most of the past year to do. I'm his only immediate family, my children his next in line. «
Notes on the writing life
Working writers are always behind on their projects, so little distractions can drive us to distraction. For example, I started getting a diary from 1959-61 ready for publication about a year ago, but am not far along. It is hundreds of pages of handwritten text; not only handwritten but written in pencil (can't believe I ever wrote with a pencil after sixth grade) on newsprint (because Andy Rogalski used to give me as much as I needed, free), and that is now yellowed and fragile.
I also started revising my first commercially published book (several others had been published "institutionally"), The Reformation of Journalism, before leaving
California but have made no progress on it since moving. Before starting that revision, I prepared a collection of my short pieces for publication as an ebook under the title Christian Journalism, but then I decided I have to revise the first book for the same treatment and get it online first. As I said last week, writing projects are not my top priority now, getting used to life in Northern Ireland is, along with lots of photos and this means of recording as much of it as I can, but when new writing projects come along I'm not very receptive.
My favorite kind of news story
After a group of fifth-grade football players in Massachusetts found out their six-year-old water boy was being teased for his attire and speech, they played great defense and showed him their support. «
None of us can imagine, without terror,
how he will have to die and breathe his last sigh. And how parents grieve when their beloved children die, when they lie breathless before their eyes! But, brethren, do not fear, and do not grieve beyond measure. By His death Jesus Christ our Saviour has conquered our death, and by His resurrection He has laid the foundation for our resurrection, and every week, every Sunday, we solemnize in the risen Christ our common future resurrection from the dead, and begin beforehand the life eternal, to which our present temporal life is but a short, narrow, and most sorrowful way.
For a true Christian, death is merely like a sleep until the day of resurrection, or like birth into a new life. And thus in solemnizing every week the resurrection of Christ and our own resurrection from the dead, let us learn to continually die to sin, and to rise with our souls from dead works, to enrich ourselves with virtues, and not sorrow inconsolably for the dead.
Let us learn to meet death without dread, as the decree of the Heavenly Father, which, through the resurrection of Christ from the dead, has lost its terror.
— St. John of Kronstadt,
19th Century Russian Orthodox staretz «
He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him.
— C.S. Lewis «
Homiletical thought: Both the Gospel and the Epistle readings for today are primarily about Peter and how he got the role that he was given in leadership of the early church. The account in Acts of an angel coming to deliver Peter from his prison cell shows how Jesus was protecting the church and fulfilling His promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.
What fun it is to imagine ourselves in Peter's place that night, being awakened by an angel and in
his drowsiness thinking that he was still dreaming until he'd been delivered outside the city walls, safe and sound. «
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