In those days: When an attempt was made [at Iconium] by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to molest Paul and Barnabas and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country; and there they peached the gosple. Now at Lystra there was a man sitting, who could not use his feet; he was a cripple from birth, who had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking; and Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and walked. And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, because he was the chief speaker, they called Hermes. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the people. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out among the multitude, cryingg, “Men, why are you doing this? We also are men, of like nature with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God who made the heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways; yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” With these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.: In ons lewe ontmoet ons soms mense wat ons so aanraak, so beinvloed, so opsweep dat ons skielik begin om lief te word vir hulle. Miskien is hierdie persoon liggaamlik pragtig. Miskien is hierdie persoon baie vriendelik. Miskien is hierdie persoon baie vrygewig. Miskien is hierdie persoon baie heilig. Miskien is hierdie persoon baie begaaf in een mannier of ander (Musik, sport, of wat ook al). In my eie liewe dink ek van Al Pacino, die akteur, of van Arsene Wenger, die sokker afrigter. Eks opgesweep deur hierdie mense. Die mense in ons eerste leesing het ook dieselfde gevoel oor Paulus en Barnabas, tot ‘n punt dat hulle respek en bewondering begin verander na aanbidding. Ons begin, soos die mense in die eerste leesing om te vergeet dat hulle gewone mense soos ander mense is. Hier kan ‘n goeie ding verander na sonde. In die mannier hoe ons soms praat noem ons sekere mense ‘Idols’ wat ‘afgode’ beteken. Daars ‘n prograam wat Idols genoem is. Ons moet versigtig wees dat ons bewondering van mense, al is hulle wie, sou nie na aanbidding van afgode verander nie. Ons moet altyd onthou.


At that time: Jesus said to his discipoles, “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will meep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come and make out home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. “These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.: Ons sien die woord ‘Liefde’ in die evangelie 7 keer. Dit is nie toevallig nie. Sewe keer beteken volheid en volledigheid. Dit herinner ons dat God ons eerste liefde is en dit is belangrik dat ons nooit vergeet daarvan nie. Al word ek verlief op iemand, al bewonder ek iemand, moet ek nooi daardie persoon my eerste liefde maak nie. God moet my eerste liefde wees. ‘N bewys dat God my eerste liefde is, is die feit dat ek moet altyd God se woorde eerste sit voor die woorde van enige persoon, al is hy of sy hoe belangrik in my liefde.

Hoe kan ek weet dat iemand of iets het ‘n afgod geword in my lewe? Een mannier om dit te weet is wanner ek beself dat terwyl ek besig is om te bid, dan verdwaal my gedagte na hulle. Deur hulle kan ek nie op my gebed konsentreer nie. Dit is ‘n afgod, want dit begin nou op te kompeteer met God in my lewe.

Daar is ‘n ou tradisie in die kerk waar mense besluit dat hulle eerse woorde elke oggend moet ‘n gebed wees en hulle laaste woorde elke nag moet ook ‘n gebed wees. Dit wys ‘n God wat die eerste en laaste in my lewe is. Hy is die eerste persoon vir wie ek ‘Goeie More’ se. En hy is die laaste persoon vir wie ek ‘Goeie Nag’ se. Hy is my eerste liefde en aan hom behoort al die eer.

Daars is mense in my familie vir wie ek ‘n groot respek het. Daar is mense in my kongregasie vir wie ek ‘n groot respek het. Daar is sekere gewilde mense waarvan ek baie hou. Ek het vriende vir wie ek baie lief is. Maar niemand moet my eerste liefde wees nie. GOD IS MY EERSTE LIEFDE.

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