Forty-Ninth Day of Easter   8 comments

Above:  Saint John the Evangelist

Dying Later Yet Glorifying God Now

May 27, 2023


Acts 28:16-20, 30-31 (Revised English Bible):

When we entered Rome Paul was allowed to lodge privately, with a soldier in charge of him.  Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders, and when they assembled, he said to them,

My brothers, I never did anything against our people or against the customs of our forefathers; yet I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.  They examined  me would have liked to release me because there was no capital charge against me; but the Jews objected, and I had no option but to appeal to Caesar; not that I had any accusation to bring against my own people.  This is why I have asked to talk to you; it is for loyalty to the hope of Israel that I am in chains.

He stayed there two full years at his own expense, with a welcome for all who came to to him; he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught the facts about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and without hindrance.

Psalm 11 (Revised English Bible):

In the LORD I take refuge.  How can you say to me,

Flee like a bird to the mountains;

for see, the wicked string their bows

and fit the arrow to the bowstring,

to shoot from the darkness at honest folk?

When foundations are undermined,

what can the just person do?

The LORD is in his holy temple;

the LORD’s throne is in heaven.

His gaze is upon mankind, his searching eye tests them.

The LORD weighs just and unjust,

and he hates all who love violence.

He will rain fiery coals and brimstone on the wicked;

scorching winds will be the portion they drink.

For the LORD is just and loves just dealing;

his face is turned towards the upright.

John 21:20-25 (Anchor Bible):

Then Peter turned around and noticed that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following (the one who had leaned back against Jesus’ chest during the supper and said,

Lord, who is the one will betray you?)

Seeing him, Peter was prompted to ask Jesus,

But Lord, what about him?

Jesus replied,

Suppose I would like him to remain until I come, how does that concern you?  Your concern is to follow me.

This is how the word got around among all the brothers that this disciple was not going to die.  As a matter of fact, Jesus never told him that he was going to die; all he said was:

Suppose I would like him to remain until I come [how does that concern you?

It is this same disciple who is the witness to these things; it is he who wrote these things; and his testimony, we know, is true.

Still, there are many other things that Jesus did.  Yet, were they ever to be written down in detail, I doubt that there would be room enough in the whole world for the books to record them.

The Collect:

O Lord, when your Son ascended into heaven he sent down upon the Apostles the Holy Spirit, as he had promised, that they might comprehend the mysteries of the kingdom:  Distribute among us also, we pray, the gifts of the selfsame Spirit, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


Paul arrived in Rome, spent a few years, and taught openly–until he died by beheading during the reign of the Emperor Nero.  John the Evangelist had many opportunities to become a martyr, suffered much violence and many humiliations, and yet died of natural causes as an elderly man.  The call of God to some people includes martyrdom, sooner or later.  For others the spiritual vocation permits dying of natural causes.  Common to all the above, however, is glorifying God in one’s life.  The consequences this will have on one depends on where and when one lives.

Yet there will be a personal cost.  That much is certain.  We will have to give something up.  We will become obligated to live disciplined lives and permit God to reorganize our priorities.  And we will need to lay any rivalries aside.


Published originally at SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on April 9, 2010


Posted October 29, 2010 by neatnik2009 in 2023, Episcopal Church Lectionary, May 27

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