Friday, December 22, 2006

Paul Preaches in Rome

Acts 28:23-31

After they had set a day to meet with him, they came to him at his lodgings in great numbers. From morning until evening he explained the matter to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets. Some were convinced by what he had said, while others refused to believe. So they disagreed with each other; and as they were leaving, Paul made one further statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah, ‘Go to this people and say, You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn— and I would heal them.’ Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.

Light a candle as you savor the words above from the book of Acts. Then, slowly read the meditation below from Meister Eckhart. Ask God to help you be attentive throughout the day. Live this day expecting to encounter God's presence in every person and in every moment.

What is the test that you have indeed undergone this holy birth?
Listen carefully.
If this birth has truly taken place within you,
then no creature can any longer hinder you.
Rather, every single creature points you
toward God
and toward this birth.
You receive a rich potential for sensitivity,
a magnificent vulnerability.
In whatever you see or hear, no matter what is,
you can absorb therein nothing but this birth.
In fact,
everything becomes for you
nothing but God.
For in the midst of all things,
you keep your eye only on God.
To grasp God in all things,
that is the sign
of your new birth.

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