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Peter’s story

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My brother Andrew introduced me to the teacher, “We have found the Messiah!” (John 1:35-40)

We were simple fishermen. Why should we be chosen to join him?

Our lives were completely changed. We never knew what might happen next.

When he healed my mother-in-law of a fever, I could hardly believe my eyes. She was out of bed and waiting on all of us as if she had never had a day’s illness in her life.

He gave me a new name. I was Simon, but he called me Peter, the Rock. He gave us a new job description as well. Instead of catching fish, he made us fishers of men. There were extreme highs and an especially extreme low. We stood on the mountaintop with Jesus, Moses and Elijah.

I hate to think about my part in the lowest time. My promise, which I really meant, failed completely. Fear is a strong enemy. I didn’t think I would ever forgive myself for denying that I knew my dearest friend.

But he forgave me and restored me. I had to put the past behind me and move forward into the new life his resurrection brought. Resurrection? Yes! And Ascension. I saw him leave with my own eyes.

Then the Day of Pentecost came. Being with Jesus had given us a new sense of purpose and being valued, but the Holy Spirit gave us power – power to speak and to bring his healing love to others. (And to make some enemies as well, but we had been warned.)

This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.

 I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)

My P post from 2013 does not mention Peter

 

2

Obadiah

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Obadiah wrote a short book of the Old Testament. He spoke out against the descendants of Esau (Edom) and in favour of the descendants of his brother Jacob (Israel). His pronouncements came true.

The story of Jacob and Esau may be found in Genesis Chapters 25, 27-28, 32-33, 35-36. (Some of the missing chapters tell the story of Jacob and Laban.)

Jacob and Esau’s is a story of sibling rivalry, which became enmity lasting for generations.

I was reminded of the story of the woman by the well, to whom Jesus promised living water. She was a Samaritan, a member of a race that Jews did not associate with. She was an outcast in her own community, having to fetch water on her own at midday to avoid the taunts of the other women. At that time and in that culture men did not usually engage strange women in conversation. John Chapter 4

The Old Testament story perpetuated hatred between races. The New Testament one shows the possibility of reconciliation and of peace.

This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.

 I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)

My O post from 2013, but Obadiah doesn’t appear there.

4

Nehemiah’s story

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It is good to hear from friends and relatives in distant lands, especially if that land is the place where our forefathers lived. However the news I received disturbed me greatly. My kinsmen, who had arrived from Judah, told me that the wall of Jerusalem, the holy city, was broken down and the gates had been set on fire and burned.

Even in exile, our people never forget where we belong. It is not too strong a word, to say that I (like Jerusalem) was devastated.

I spent days, fasting, mourning and praying. At last I prayed to God about a plan that was forming in my mind. Although I had an important position in exile as cup-bearer to King Ataxerxes, I realised that I had no power to act unless it was granted me by God and the king.

Praise be to God! The King granted me my initial request and God made me bold in my other requests to the King. Not only did King Ataxerxes grant me leave to go to Jerusalem, he also wrote letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates to grant me safety as I travelled and to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest to provide me with timber for rebuilding the temple and the city gates.

Although I had the goodwill of the king, I also had enemies. These included Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite, who were doing everything they could to disrupt the plans of our people. It took fifty two days to rebuild the wall in spite of their opposition.

Ezra the priest was already in Jerusalem. Once we had completed all the building work, he reminded us of the Law of Moses. The disobedience of the people came as a shock to many of us. We really need to be reminded very often of what our God requires.

My prayer is that God will remember me and show mercy to me because of his great love. Nehemiah 13:22

The Book of Nehemiah is in the Old Testament.

This year for the A to Z Challenge I have taken my 2013 Challenge as a starting point for most of the posts. I have written a post based around something or usually someone from the Bible. Sometimes it is a fictional story, for example when I have added some back stories (as a writing exercise). Sometimes it is a summary.

 I hope my readers will be challenged to consider the original texts in more depth. (If only to discover what liberties I have taken with them!)

My N post for 2013