Daily Bread

April 30, 2018

Acts 14:5-18; Ps 115; Jn 14:21-26

In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways; yet, in bestowing his goodness, he did not leave himself without witness, for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts.
I’ve never met a child who, having learned to say, “No!” and “Mine!” didn’t also know how to protest, “It’s not fair!” Where does that sense of fairness come from? Growing up I had a strong notion of justice and it was an argument of C.S. Lewis that turned me into a believer, or more accurately, helped my head follow my heart. In Mere Christianity, Lewis argues that if we protest against the evil in the world, the idea of “not evil” must come from somewhere or someone. If we cry, “It’s not fair!” where do we get the idea of fair? And how shocked would we be if a person we love and look to for justice said to us, “Fairness schmareness! What’s fair?” This natural argument for the existence of good is what Paul invokes with the Gentiles of Lystra. Even if they do not know the one true God, they know the blessings — the beneficial rains and fruitful seasons, the nourishment and the gladness. Paul was zealous but also practical, meeting people where they were and drawing them into the fold of believers.
Gracious God, help us to love people as they are and see in them what you are calling them to be.

Paige Byrne Shortal

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About Daily Bread

Homiletic starters and scriptural reflection points for each day of the month

The Lectionary provides a kind of spiritual script for the universal church that keeps us, literally, all on the same page as we journey through the liturgical seasons. These short reflections, written by four authors who meet regularly to share the readings, are intended to help daily preachers and others who pray from the assigned scriptures each day to orient themselves to the Living Word addressed to the church in the world.

About the authors

Jeanne Lischer lives near Kansas City, Missouri, where she is an ordained United Church of Christ minister.  She serves two churches in Missouri. She shares her home with daughter, Sally, two cats, and a dog. Originally from St. Louis, she has also lived in Ghana, West Africa.

Mary Joshi lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, and is our first Canadian Daily Bread baker. Raised Catholic and married to a Hindu with whom she has two daughters, Mary has been challenged to examine, clarify and articulate her faith, which has informed her primary work as the RCIA coordinator for her three-parish unit and reflection writer for the parish bulletin. Her education includes degrees in history, English and deaf education.

Miguel Dulick lives in a mountain village in Honduras, Central America. Originally from St. Louis, he holds degrees from St. Louis University and Weston School of Theology, Boston.

Paige Byrne Shortal, longtime contributor to Celebration, serves as coordinator for the Daily Bread writers. She is recently retired after forty years in pastoral ministry — twenty years at St. Francis Xavier (College) Church on the campus of Saint Louis University and twenty years at St. Francis Borgia in Washington, Missouri.

Patricia Russell graduated from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with degrees in English and secondary education. She teaches high school theology, English and creative writing in Washington, Missouri. 

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