Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Prayer for Saint Simon and Saint Jude

Today, many Christians around the world will pause to honor the lives of Saint Jude (photo at left) and Saint Simon. The Book of Common Prayer contains the following prayer in honor of these servants of Christ:

O God, we thank thee for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we may with ardent dovotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

You know, we all have odd throughs at 3 a.m. on sleepless nights, and one of my ramblings is to wonder what would have been contained in a new book if Luke had written "Acts 2," or "II Acts." He continued the Gospel that bears his name with the book of Acts, but Acts seems to end right in the middle of things. Paul is in jail; the church is suffering persecution, and Peter is--well, where? What's going on back in Jerusalem? Acts 1 doesn't tell us about the deaths of Paul and Peter in Rome, and the careers of several of the apostles are not mentioned at all.

I think this is remarkable. After all, Luke was such a careful historian, why didn't he record the rest of the information that he must have known? Even the traditions of the Chruch give only partial clues to what these men and women did with their ministries and how they met their deaths.

A friend of mine told me once that the Bible contains enough information to save us, but not too much, which would overwhelm us. She cited John 21:25. I suppose we don't need to know these extra stories, but sometimes--at 3 a.m. on sleepless nights--it would be interesting to think about . . . .

Best wishes,

Mason Smith

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