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Speaking to the Soul: Walking Backward

Speaking to the Soul: Walking Backward

Week of Proper 19, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 56, 57, [58] (morning) // 64, 65 (evening)

Job 40:1-24

Acts 15:36-16:5

John 11:55-12:8

Sometimes, even the most eager missionary journeys involve a bit of back-tracking. At the beginning of today’s second reading, Paul invites Barnabas to check back in with where they’ve been: “Come, let us return and visit the believers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” As it turns out, Barnabas heads off in another direction with someone else, so Paul makes the journey with a new companion, Silas. And, as he journeys, they pick up yet another new disciple, named Timothy.

Old places, new friends. The passage doesn’t tell us much about what Paul found in his old stomping grounds, but it does say that he found himself “strengthening the churches.” What progress could we make in our own missions by checking up on where we’ve been?

Perhaps we can find a moment today to revisit some place or some person we once served. We might need to offer some more strength and encouragement. We might find ourselves strengthened and encouraged in the process. We might also discover new opportunities or new companions if we look back to times and places where our ministries once bore fruit. As today marches forward, may we also take some time to trace our steps.

Lora Walsh blogs about the Daily Office readings at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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