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Sunday, April 20, 2008

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 6:1-7
1 Peter 2:4-9
Psalm 33
John 14:1-12

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the complaint department

"In those days, as the number of disciples grew, the ones who spoke Greek complained that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food." —Acts 6:1

Is any group complaining in your church, community, family, or ministry? You may be thinking of handling the problem yourself, but watch out. The time you devote to dealing with the complaints may take away from your ministry of the word (see Acts 6:2). Rather, you may be called to raise up new leaders while you concentrate on prayer and the ministry of the word (Acts 6:3-4).

Complaints can result in a cycle of overload for leaders, distraction from priorities, burnout, and more complaints. Conversely, complaints can lead to the raising up of new leadership (see Ex 18:13-26), the strengthening of older leaders, increased evangelization, and unity in the Christian community. When complaints lead to new leaders being raised up and not older leaders being distracted from their priorities, the word of God continues "to spread, while at the same time the number of the disciples" enormously increases (Acts 6:7).

Complaints are raw materials for the best or worst. Complaints are not necessarily good or bad in themselves, but how we deal with them will often be very good or very bad. May we respond to today's complaints in such a way as to lead to the greatest Pentecost ever three weeks from today.

Prayer:  Father, may I immediately refer all complaints to You.

Promise:  "Come to Him, a living Stone, rejected by men but approved, nonetheless, and precious in God's eyes." —1 Pt 2:4

Praise:  Praise the risen Lord Who has denied us no good thing!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Staying Filled With the Spirit on audio AV 57-1 or video V-57.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007

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