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The Seventh Sunday of Easter A, May 21, 2023

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The Seventh Sunday of Easter A, May 21, 2023

After forty days of Jesus’ appearing as the resurrected Christ… after watching Jesus ascend into the heavens until a cloud took him from their sight… after returning to the upper room where they had gathered the night of the resurrection and where they had gathered for their final Passover meal… after all that, there they were devoting themselves to prayer.  What’s more, they “were of one accord…”

Tragedy can bring people together and these disciples of Jesus had certainly experienced both tragedy and exaltation… both the crucifixion of their leader Jesus and the resurrection of their Christ… in the aftermath of that emotional turmoil, they gathered… they prayed… and they were of one accord.  The word “accord” is a much-used word in the New Testament.  It is used to indicate agreement among the people such as here in Vs. 14 or in Acts 15:25— “It seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you….”  It is used to indicate agreement with the preacher and the proclamation being made such as Acts 8:6— “And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip….” It is used to indicate agreement with the will of God such as Romans 8:27 or 1 Peter 4:19. Most importantly, it is used by Paul as he writes to the Philippians.  There Paul declares, “…complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Ph. 2:2).  Paul then goes on to deliver to them this gift, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Ph. 2:5).

While tragedy and exaltation certainly bring us together, the kind of unanimity and accord delivered in our scripture’s witness comes only from the presence of Jesus Christ… the presence of Jesus Christ who has come to be our life.  As he is our life, we receive from him, through the Blessed Exchange, not only his life but also his clean heart and his one mind.  To have Christ as our life delivers full accord and one mind among the body of Christ.

Table Talk:  Discuss what discord and disagreement mean within the body of Christ.  Does having to “take a vote” mean that it ceases being Christ’s body and becomes just another legislative body?
Pray:  Heavenly Father, give me the mind of Christ so that I would be in full accord with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Amen

Acts 1:12-26 English Standard Version

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness and falling headlong[b] he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,

“‘May his camp become desolate,

    and let there be no one to dwell in it’;

and

“‘Let another take his office.’

21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

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