Faith Daily | 7 July 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p552
you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass our understanding:
pour into our hearts such love toward you,
that, loving you above all things,
we may obtain your promises
which exceed all that we can desire;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 10: 1-7
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Virginia Hasker
Its interesting that there were two sets of brothers who were called, and committed to be Jesus disciples. How nice for them, that they were able to share this role and their love of Jesus together. Matthew, of course the author of this Gospel played a key role in bringing the teaching and practices of Jesus to more than just the people of Israel. His recollections and writing have come down to us today 2021 years later.
I read an amazing story recently about some missionaries who went to the former Belgium Congo in the 1920s. They felt called as disciples to bring the Christian faith to people in a remote part of that country. After much suffering with disease and then the death of one of the missionaries soon after the birth of a baby girl, they all left. They had only managed to connect with one little boy who brought them chickens and eggs each week from a village. He heard the stories of Jesus and became a believer.
It is a sad story for those missionaries, as the only survivor, the father of the baby girl, became disillusioned with God and angry about what had happened to him and his family. However, the baby girl (originally called Aina Flood) was adopted by some American missionaries, who brought her up in the USA. She had a good upbringing, education, and married a Christian herself. She had been called Aggie by her adoptive parents, and after she married she was Aggie Hurst. Her husband became the Principal of a Bible college in the USA. This opened up opportunities for them to learn about Christianity in other parts of the World, and she learned about her mother’s tragic death and that her Father was still alive in Sweden. She visited him, and not only made peace with him, but also helped him to make peace with his God before he died.
A few years later, the Hursts were attending a high-level evangelism conference in London, England, where a report was given by the superintendent of the National Church, representing some 110,000 baptized believers from the nation of Zaire (the former Belgian Congo).. Aggie, knowing her origins, and how her mother had died in a remote village as a Christian missionary, approached him and asked if he had ever heard of her mother. His response was that he knew her well when she was alive and living just out of his village. He was the little boy who brought them chickens and eggs, and who she had converted. It was an emotional encounter for them both! He said her mother was famous in the Congo. It was as a result of her converting him, that there were now so many Christians in, not only the village where he had lived, but in the whole country.
This story is told in much more detail in – Aggie: The Inspiring Story of A Girl Without A Country’ [Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1986]
We are now Jesus Disciples in the 21st century in a Gentile country, Australia. How important is our role!
FINAL PRAYER: (taken from Jeremiah 29:v11)
Thank you Lord Jesus Christ,
That you know the future you have planned for us,
Plans for our welfare and not for harm,
To give us a future with hope.