Daily reading: 17 January
Something to read
May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money! You have no part or share in this, for your heart is not right before God. Repent.
- (Peter's words to Simon) Acts 8:20,22a from full reading Acts 8:18-24.
Something to think about
Perhaps it’s significant that Peter’s rebuke is to a would-be apostle named Simon. After all, Jesus had changed the name of the now so wise apostle himself from ‘Simon’ to ‘Peter’.
Rather than externalising today’s reading with an exegesis of a conversation two thousand years ago, let us allow the Scripture to do its work right here, right now.
Simon the fisherman and Peter the Christian were both present in the psyche of the Galilean apostle leader. Both voices in our reading today work in us too. Part of us still believes that we can somehow finance God’s gift in us by our own strength, be that mental, physical, material, spiritual or combination of these.
We have also in us the potential to let God be God and so ourselves dissolve into the flow of God’s grace. When we are conscious of the two voices, we awaken from complacency. If we think the only voice in us is God’s voice, then we can be pretty sure it is our own ego that silently holds sway.
In consciousness, we expose, repent and so turn away from our false-self thinking (Simon) to face once more toward our ‘Christed’, true-self openness (Peter).
Something to do
St Luke, the writer of Acts, displays in both his biblical works a special concern for the poor, materially and spiritually. This ‘preferential option for the poor’ is formative in the theology of Christian Aid.
Today, accepting your own spiritual poverty, read slowly three or four times again Acts 8:18-24. If a phrase or word rises for you, stay with it a while.
Now ask God to teach you what this is saying to you, about you, about the world, about healing, reconciliation, reaching out to the oppressed or broken…
Something to pray
Lord Jesus, show me who I really am. Lead me from the voice of my own self-importance to the light of truth, that my hands, which I would stretch out in your name, may transmit the healing presence of your love.
Father Tim Ardouin is Church in Wales priest-in-charge in North Gower. He is a founder and director of the School of Christian Mysticism, a trustee for St Madoc Centre and Archbishop’s Officer for Interfaith Dialogue.
Published on 17 January 2021