The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
It is one thing when Christians speak of the success of their evangelistic efforts. It is another thing entirely when a hostile audience speaks of Christian success. In Acts 5:27-32 the apostles are brought again to the Sanhedrin. They are charged, as usual, with proclaiming salvation in Jesus. They had been warned before. But now, “Behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching!” I freely admit that I would love to have such an impact in ministry that people could accuse me of influencing the whole city.
What is Peter’s response, as he speaks for the apostles? The court must consider whether it is appropriate to obey God rather than humans. God raised Jesus from the dead. He proclaims forgiveness of sins through the name of Jesus. The apostles are witnesses. They have no other message.
So often we are of a divided mind, a divided heart, easily distracted. We fill our lives with programs which seem good on the surface but which fail to focus on Christ crucified for sinners. We seek to minister to people in Jesus’ name but often end up working in the same way that any secular social service might work. Our Savior deserves better than that. May we, like the apostles, so dedicate ourselves to the single-mided pursuit of the message - Christ crucified and raised from the dead to bring life to sinful humans - that we will not be shaken. May the say of us that the whole city is filled with our teaching.
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